For anyone who hasn't surfed over yet, PrezVid has a great three-part line up of videos, a series of what what you could call "the American Freedom Speeches in Berlin," featuring Obama, JFK and Reagan. The post also links to the full transcript of Obama's speech.
Grainy windblown JFK comes off best, but it's an unfair lineup. JFK and Reagan were presidents; Obama's a candidate. They were speaking in the geographic heart of the Cold War; he was speaking in just another European capital. Yet, watching them together, it's clear Obama knew what he was doing. Why Berlin? He makes it clear in the speech. His presence there as a major U.S. political figure, the possible first African-American U.S. president, is evidence that, on a significant level, certain of the challenges of freedom spoken about by the other two men have been met.
The greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.... The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand... I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope.