Today marks the 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech delivered in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Colonel Steven Chealander served as a Military Aide to President Reagan from 1986-1988, including numerous historic trips abroad. He was in Berlin with Reagan on that historic day.
But even more special for Chealander was that his own parents were in Berlin too, as special guests of the White House.
You see, his father helped save the city as a pilot during the Berlin Airlift. Forty years later, Reagan stood in the same Berlin airport that the elder Chealander had once flown into, and gave a speech to honor and commemorate the pilots of the Airlift.
Reagan signed and gave his speech cards to Colonel Chealander to give to his father. Two years later, Chealander’s father died. And two years after that, the Berlin Wall came down.
Colonel Chealander, now retired, is writing his White House memoirs.
I had the privilege of working with Mr. Chealander on the production of some documentary films about his experiences in the White House. Here, in commemoration with today’s anniversary of the speech, is the film about that day in Berlin.