2023 Assembly Joint Resolution 39
Relating to: proclaiming June 12, 2023, as Ronald Reagan Freedom Day in Wisconsin.
Whereas, on June 12, 1987, the United States had been in a cold war with the Soviet Union for more than 40 years, and President Ronald Reagan was delivering a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin; and
Whereas, during that 40-year period of Soviet power, many people faced persecution and fled to the western European nations and beyond in order to escape tyranny and find freedom; and
Whereas, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic built a wall of barbed wire and concrete separating East and West Berlin, primarily to stem mass defections from East to West; and
Whereas, the wall made it very difficult for people to escape Soviet Communism in Germany and unite with their families in West Berlin, evidenced by at least 171 people dying trying to get over, under, or around the wall; and
Whereas, during his speech, Ronald Reagan remarked to the Soviet president, “ Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate; Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”; and
Whereas, on November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the German Democratic Republic could cross the border whenever they pleased, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall—some crossing freely into West Berlin, while others hammered and chipped away at the wall itself; and
Whereas, more than two million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin that weekend, participating in a celebration that was, as one journalist described it, “the greatest street party in the history of the world”; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin Legislature hereby commemorate that historic speech and declare June 12, 2023, as Ronald Reagan Freedom Day in Wisconsin.