Liebe Berliner, Dear Germans, Dear Friends
Speech by Ambassador Coats
September 14, 2001
Dear Mr. President, Chancellor Schröder, heads of the political
parties, dear friends of the United States of America, ladies
The horrible images of last Tuesday's barbarous attacks have
been indelibly burned into our collective consciousness and collective
memory, and nothing can ever be done to erase them. But over the
last few days, alongside those images of horror, other, very different
images have etched themselves in the hearts of Americans.
The images of President Rau, Chancellor Schröder, Foreign
Minister Fischer, the leaders of all political parties, and many
other prominent Germans offering their firm and unwavering support
to the United States of America. The images of throngs of Germans
lining the streets around our embassy and consulates and Amerika
Häuser, to leave flowers, to leave messages of condolence,
or simply to stand silently and share in our grief and our sorrow.
The images of Germans filling their churches to pray for the victims,
both American and German. And the image of thousands of you who
have come here today, to this symbol of unity and freedom, to
show by your presence solidarity with America.
It is at tragic and difficult hours like these that the true
meaning of friendship is understood. I have seen the depth and
sincerity of your sorrow in the tears in your eyes, I have heard
it in the trembling of your voices. And I can say that Germany
has shown once again over the last few days that America could
not wish for a more reliable friend. On behalf of all Americans,
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and
your support. America will never forget this.
Liebe Berliner, dear Germans, dear friends:
For half a century, we stood together again and again to defend
this city, our freedom and our civilization against attack. When
the wall that divided this city finally fell, and Berlin and Germany
were once again united, many of us hoped and believed that we
had finally put such challenges behind us.
Now a new and fateful struggle stands before us: a struggle with
a new kind of enemy, one who is nearly invisible, one who hates
our civilization - your civilization and my civilization - hates
it so much that he is prepared to die himself in order to destroy
The struggle against this enemy will not be brief; it will not
be easy; and it will not be painless. This struggle will demand
from all of us courage, patience and fortitude. But these are
qualities which you, over the past half century, have displayed
in abundance; and I am firmly convinced that, as we stand shoulder
to shoulder once again to defend our common values and our common
civilization, we will prevail in this struggle as well.
Thank you. May God bless us all.