January 1, 1985

Berlin is a place and a people close to the American heart. It is a pleasure for me to write for the people of Berlin about this special city.

With the coming of the new year, it will be forty years since Berlin as a city under four-power administration was created. This special status has made Berlin the free and prosperous city we see today. This status and the determination of the Allies to insist on their rights and to fulfill their responsibilities is why Berlin stands today in such contrast to its surroundings.

Even today, the Western Allies are Berlin's trustees. They are also, in an important sense, the trustees of the German nation. They are in Berlin as sentinels and as reminders that the tragic division of Germany and Europe is not immutable.

Berliners can be confident that the Allied role in Berlin, with its roots in history long past, with its present complexities, is still the guarantor of Berlin's liberty. Building on this solid foundation, it has been possible to construct East-West arrangements to benefit the people of Berlin.

The close partnership that has grown up between the Western Allies and the Berliners, based on mutual respect and sensitivity, is also vital. We have been together through the Berlin airlift. Together we have celebrated successes such as the Quadripartite Agreement. These shared experiences have forged an unbreakable bond. Together we will work to create a bright future for Berlin. For the new year, I would like to renew to every Berliner our pledge: the American commitment to Berlin is unshakable.