After His "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" Speech, JFK Thanks the Overseas Military for Making His Visit a Success

July 8, 1963

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After His "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" Speech, JFK Thanks the Overseas Military for Making His Visit a Success
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 715

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      Background

      Crowd estimates differ: some say one million Germans, some say two, gathered in Berlin’s Rudolph Wilde Platz on June 26, 1963, to hear President Kennedy defiantly proclaim that in their struggle against communism, he too was a Berliner. To a clapping, waving, crying, cheering three-fifths of Berlin’s population, Kennedy – having viewed for himself the terrible wall splitting the city in half – declared that “Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was ‘civis Romanus sum’” but now, he told the roaring crowd, “in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ‘Ich bin ein Berliner.'” That exhilarating triumph was the apogee of his trip to Germany, about which he writes here, to thank General Landon for “the magnificent way” in which he and “all the members of the United States Air Forces in Europe worked to assure the success” of his visit:

      I am well aware of the sensitivity and the complexity of the many requirements placed upon the members of your command, over and above the normally heavy demands of their duties. That you and they fulfilled these requirements so willingly and efficiently is a source of great satisfaction…. Please relay to the members of your command my good wishes and my appreciation for their support during my visit. You have, of course, my most grateful personal thanks.


      Typed Letter Signed, as President, 1 page, quarto, The White House, Washington, July 8, 1963. To General Truman H. Landon in Germany. With typed transmittal envelope.
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      THE WHITE HOUSE
      WASHINGTON

       July 8, 1963

      Dear General Landon:

      I shall long remember with gratitude the magnificent way in which you and all the members of the United States Air Forces in Europe worked to assure the success of my recent visit to Europe.  I am well aware of the sensitivity and the complexity of the many requirements placed upon the members of your command, over and above the normally heavy demands of their duties.  That you and they fulfilled these requirements so willingly and efficiently is a source of great satisfaction.

      I want you to know that I was tremendously impressed and reassured by those United States military forces with which I was able to spend some time.  Individually and collectively, they are to be complimented upon the excellent manner in which they are representing our country abroad.

      Please relay to the members of your command my good wishes and my appreciation for their support during my visit.  You have, of course, my most grateful personal thanks.

      Sincerely,

      JOHN KENNEDY

      General Truman H. Landon
      Commander-in-Chief
      United States Air Forces in Europe
      APO 633
      New York, New York

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      THE WHITE HOUSE

      General Truman H. Landon
      Commander-in-Chief
      United States Air Forces in Europe
      APO 633
      New York, New York

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      UNCLASSIFIED

      USAFE LINDSEY AS GERMANY

      SENSITIVITY AND THE COMPLEXITY OF THE MANY REQUIREMENTS PLACED UPON THE MEMBERS OF YOUR COMMAND, OVER AND ABOVE THE NORMALLY HEAVY DEMANDS OF THEIR DUTIES. THAT YOU AND THEY FULFILLED THESE REQUIREMENTS SO WILLINGLY AND EFFICIENTLY IS A SOURCE OF GREAT SATISFACTION.  PARA.  I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I WAS TREMENDOUSLY IMPRESSED AND REASSURED BY THOSE UNITED STATES MILITARY FORCES WITH WHICH I WAS ABLE TO SPEND SOME TIME. INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY, THEY ARE TO BE COMPLIMENTED UPON THE EXCELLENT MANNER IN WHICH THEY ARE REPRESENTING OUR COUNTRY ABROAD.  PARA.  PLEASE RELAY TO THE MEMBERS OF YOUR COMMAND MY GOOD WISHES AND MY APPRECIATION FOR THEIR SUPPORT DURING MY VISIT. YOU HAVE, OF COURSE, MY MOST GRATEFUL PERSONAL THANKS. 


      0I      2       2      UNCLASSIFIED

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      Routine x AF - USAFE Lindsey AS Germany 17AF RAMSTEIN AB GERMANY 322AIRDIV EVREUX FAUVILLE AB FRANCE 7101 ABW WIESBADEN AB GERMANY (Courier) 7310 ABW RHINE MAIN AB GERMANY (COURIER) 7350 SPT SQ BERLIN GERMANY (Mail) INFO: US AIR ATTACHE BONN GERMANY UNCLASS CINC 256 FROM LANDON. SUBJECT: PRESIDENT'S JUNE VISIT. PRESIDENT KENNEDY HAS ASKED ME TO CONVEY HIS APPRECIATION TO ALL USAFE UNITS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF HIS RECENT VISIT TO EUROPE. MAY I TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY OF ADDING MY PERSONAL THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE. TEXT OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S LETTER FOLLOWS: PARA. I SHALL LONG REMEMBER WITH GRATITUDE THE MAGNIFICENT WAY IN WHICH YOU AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCES IN EUROPE WORKED TO ASSURE THE SUCCESS OF MY RECENT VISIT TO EUROPE. I AM WELL AWARE OF THE 22 JUL 1963 0I Col L. J. Tacker 22801 TRUMAN H. LANDON General USAF Commander-in-Chief

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