BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany.
Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier
today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for
I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as
a candidate for President, but as a citizen - a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow
citizen of the world.
I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city. The
journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my
father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father - my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic
servant to the British.
At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of
the world, that his yearning - his dream - required the freedom and opportunity promised by the
West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody,
somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.
That is why I'm here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all
cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is
because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and
sacrifice for that better life.
Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first
American plane touched down at Templehof.
On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into
a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain,
and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade.
This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose
to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food an