Thirty years ago, a reunified Germany joined the family of nations in NATO and at the core of the European project. At the time, German unity was not a forgone conclusion. The German people and visionary leaders like Helmut Kohl knew they had one chance to make a united country a reality. The United States supported them fully, and since then, the American and German peoples have stood together to champion democracy at home and abroad.

Equally remarkable was the burst of energy that German reunification gave to Europe’s broader dream of a continent whole, free, and at peace. In the years that followed, the Soviet Union collapsed, the European Union was founded, and membership in the EU and NATO stretched across a region that had for decades lay behind an Iron Curtain.

Today, a new generation continues to be inspired by the movement and possibilities that started with the Monday Demonstrations at the St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig. The spirit of German reunification is felt by people from Belarus to Hong Kong in their own fight for self-determination, human dignity, and free and fair elections. To those European countries that are failing to live up to their democratic aspirations, it should serve as a living reminder of the enduring power of the people’s voice.

As President, I will proudly stand for democratic institutions and the strength of diplomacy to overcome even the toughest international challenges.