- The Washington Times - Friday, November 8, 2019

There were two Germanys when a young U.S. Army officer named Mike Pompeo reported for duty to the 2nd Squadron of the 7th Cavalry on the border between East and West in the mid-1980s

At a ceremony in a no-longer-divided Berlin to dedicate a statue of former President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Pompeo, now the secretary of state, recalled Friday military maneuvers along the dangerous no-man-land’s between free West Germany and Communist East Germany.

“I could look across the border each time we’d go out on patrol and I could see the grim reality, the grey reality of life on the other side,” Mr. Pompeo said. “We didn’t get to talk to them, we didn’t get to know them, but we could see the conditions in which their leaders put their people.”

Mr. Pompeo said President Reagan’s determination and strength of purpose with inspiring hope for so many living on the other side of the bleak wall that split Germany in two. He called the former president, an “indispensable leader” of America’s mission to defend the oppressed.

“He courageously denounced the greatest threat to them to them of the day to that freedom — the Soviet empire, the evil empire,” Mr. Pompeo said. “He knew that instead of protecting a citizen’s rights, they brutalized citizens or executed them.”

Mr. Pompeo was a young tank officer in West Germany when he heard President Reagan’s famous challenge to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

“They had a special resonance for me,” he said. “I’m sure they helped spur many brave East Germans to defy their overlords.”

The statue is placed at a site on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin overlooking the place where Reagan delivered his famous Berlin Wall address in 1987.

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