Eureka College to mark 24th anniversary of fall of Berlin Wall

Jim EdgarHenry Nau

Former Gov. Edgar, author Henry Nau to speak

Eureka College will observe the 24th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at a ceremony at 4 p.m. Nov. 7 in Becker Auditorium in the Cerf Center. The ceremony is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Speakers will be former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and Henry Nau, a professor of political science and international affairs at Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Nau will sign copies of his book “Conservative Internationalism: Armed Diplomacy under Jefferson, Polk, Truman, and Reagan” following the ceremony. The book will be available for sale at the college bookstore.

Fall of the Wall 2013

Nau’s book was published in September by Princeton University Press. Called a groundbreaking revival of a neglected foreign policy tradition, “Conservative Internationalism” explains how the United States can sustain global leadership while respecting the constraints of public will and material resources. The book explores conservative internationalism in the foreign policies of Thomas Jefferson, James Polk, Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan, all who expanded the arc of freedom using a combination of force, diplomacy and compromise, Nau said.

Nau also wrote “Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, and Ideas”; “At Home Abroad: Identity and Power in American Foreign Policy”; “Trade and Security: U.S. Policies at Cross-Purposes”; and “The Myth of America’s Decline: Leading the World Economy into the 1990s.”

Harold Fritz of Peoria also will speak. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War and is president of the national Medal of Honor Society.

The ceremony will include a procession of the flags of the more than 20 countries that became democracies at the end of the Cold War.

This is the fifth year the college has held a ceremony to celebrate freedom and recognize those who served in the Cold War. The ceremony is sponsored by Mangold Ford Inc., Eureka; PNC Bank, Peoria; and the Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College.

“Eureka College aspires to remind the world about the value of freedom and the importance of standing up for freedom in the world, as our alumnus Ronald Reagan did so eloquently,” said John Morris, director of the Reagan Society. “With support from members of the Reagan Society, Eureka College will continue to lead the important remembrance of victory of freedom over Soviet communism and all those who serve the cause of freedom,” Morris said.

The Berlin Wall was part of the border that came to symbolize the Iron Curtain that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. The wall was opened on Nov. 9, 1989.

Eureka College is among only several colleges and universities in the United States to have a section of the Berlin Wall, which is located in the Ronald Reagan Peace Garden. The college received the 5-foot-by 4-foot section of the wall as a gift from the Federal Republic of Germany in 2000 when the college dedicated the peace garden. The garden was built with a gift from Peorians Anne and the late David Vaughan. It commemorates President Reagan’s speech at the college’s commencement in 1982 that proposed the elimination of a class of nuclear weapons. Some historians mark the speech as the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Reagan’s 1987 speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin included the now-famous statement to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

For more information, call the Development Office at (309) 467-6319.