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June

12

1987

June 12, 1987



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Diary Entry - 06/12/1987

Friday, June 12, 1987

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Juice & Coffee at 7:30 A.M.—At 9:20 began saying goodbyes to people at hotel etc. At 9:25 we were in the Admirals barge on our way to the Italian Naval station & by 9:40 we were in a helicopter bound for Marco Polo Airport. On way we circled the Am. vessel which had provided the navy craft & crews for our Venice stay. The sailors were all lined up on deck & I spoke our thanks by radio which they all heard on loud speaker.

At the airport we were met by the Fanfanis, the Rabbs, and several others. There was the usual ceremony—Nat. Anthems, reviewing the troops then goodbyes & aboard A.F.1. We had a brunch and arrived at Tempelhof Central Airport in West Berlin at 11:45 A.M. Met by Ambas. Rich Burt & Gahl as well as a considerable group of W.G. officials. A ceremony there—Nat. Anthem & review of troops—American. From there to the Berlin home of Pres. & Mrs. Von Weizsaecker accompanied by Mayor & Mrs. Diepgen. A lot of press photos then a pleasant half hour or so indoors. At 1 P.M. we drove to the Reichstag—the Kohls joined us. We viewed the “Wall” from a balcony. We saw the exhibit of the Marshal plan & Germanys rebuilding. Met several elderly ladies who had been part of the female force that cleaned bricks from the rubble & played a role in Berlins rebuilding. Then it was on to the Brandenburg gate where I addressed tens & tens of thousands of people—stretching as far as I could see. I got a tremendous reception—interrupted 28 times by cheers.

Then it was back to the airport and on our way to Bonn except at airport we viewed displays of Berlin Airlift. Met 3 of pilots of that airlift, one the father of my Mil. Aide Major Steve Chealander.

Finally inside building several thousand people—mainly Am. mil. & familys etc. Again well received in a speech tailored for that audience. A birthday celebration with cake for Berlins 750th anniversary. And then we flew to Bonn with Kohls & Burts on board. Left for Bonn about 4:45 P.M.—The Nat. Anthems—review of troops. There were meetings & photos with various people in Bonn Airport bldg. Then a bi-lateral with Kohl & finally back out for farewell statements to largely American crowd and back to A.F.1.

Departed 7:45 P.M. for Andrews A.F. Base 8 1⁄2 hours away. I was surprised that we traveled in bright sunshine for almost 8 of the 8 1⁄2 hour flight. It didn’t get dark until a little less than an hour out and yet it was after 3 A.M. back where we left. Well home at last.