- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2001

The mood was somber Wednesday night as Germans marked the 10th anniversary of their nation's reunification by showing support for the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
That support came in the form of approximately $28 million raised by corporate and private sponsors through a German Embassy solidarity fund, and warm words from the German ambassador.
"Germany's unity would not have been possible without the solidarity and support of the U.S.," Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger said. "Together with our American friends, we mourn this terrible loss of life."
Mr. Ischinger presented a check for the money raised thus far to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson, who was flanked by two D.C. firefighters.
The presence of certain guests at the usually crowded party was as much a reminder of the tragedy as the absence of others. Standing near the ambassador was Brigadier Gen. Harry B. Axson Jr., who stood in memory of Lt. Gen. Timothy Maude, who originally was on the guest list but died in the Pentagon bombing.
Mr. Thompson called attention to the importance of celebrating the "Day of German Unity" despite recent circumstances.
"It was a triumphant day for freedom, and it still is," he noted.
Tighter security at the embassy's gates and above-average attention to the sound of planes flying overhead were reminders that things were not quite back to normal. Still, hungry hordes crowded into the spacious back yard of the ambassadorial residence, gulping strong German beer from pint-size glasses and snacking on a wide variety of foods, from stir-fry to more traditional German sausage and potato specialties.
The German Army Musical Corps added to the patriotic atmosphere by playing traditional German and American tunes (including a stirring rendition of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." and a somewhat unusual take on Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart").
The embassy's overtures paid off in the end: By evening's close, guests had donated an additional $250,000 to the relief effort.

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