Ahead of the meeting of the NATO leaders Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel dedicated the Berlin Wall Memorial, and US President Donald Trump the 9/11 and Article 5 Memorial, at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels.
Addressing Allied leaders, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the memorials showed, “NATO will always defend the values on which our Alliance is founded”.
According to Stoltenberg, “The Berlin Wall is a symbol of that past. It was built to divide Europe. To keep people in, and ideas out. In the face of division, NATO Allies stood united. In defence of freedom, democracy and human dignity. In 1989, the wall was brought down. By peaceful protests. By popular movements such as Solidarność. And the bravery of countless men and women across Central and Eastern Europe.”
“Each day, all those who will enter this building will pass this memorial. They will understand that freedom will never be defeated. And that NATO will always defend the values on which our Alliance is founded,” Stoltenberg said.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Trump called for a moment of silence to remember the Manchester terror victims.
“The recent attack on Manchester in the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism. Innocent little girls and so many others were horribly murdered and badly injured while attending a concert — beautiful lives with so much great potential torn from their families forever and ever. It was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilization,” Trump said.
“This ceremony is a day for both remembrance and resolve. We remember and mourn those nearly 3,000 innocent people who were brutally murdered by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. Our NATO allies responded swiftly and decisively, invoking for the first time in its history the Article 5 collective defense commitments,” Trump said.