Secretary Geithner is Guest of Honor as Ambassador Ammon Host’s Unity Celebration
Enlarge image “I want our American friends to know that Germany is committed to a journey to build a unified Europe," Ambassador Ammon said. (© Z. Garcia for Germany.info) US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, whose grandfather emigrated from the town of Zeulenroda in northeastern Germany in 1908, was the guest of honor Wednesday night, as Ambassador Peter Ammon hosted a celebration in honor of the Day of German Unity.
German unification on October 3, 1990, marked not only the end of the division of Germany; it also marked the end of the division of Europe, Ambassador Ammon said in his welcoming remarks before a multitude of guests gathered in the terraced garden of the Ambassador’s Residence in Northwest Washington, DC. More than two decades later, Germany remains committed to helping build a unified Europe, he said.“The 3rd of October, 1990, was a day that no one of us will ever forget,” Ambassador Ammon said. “It was the triumph of freedom and democracy after decades of dictatorship and division that would have been impossible to overcome without the courage and determination of the people in East Germany and the steadfast support of our American allies.”
Enlarge image "We are confident that Germany has the ability and the will to do what is necessary to lead Europe to that stronger union," Secretary Geithner said. (© Z. Garcia for Germany.info) He continued: “I want our American friends to know that Germanyis committed to a journey to build a unified Europe; a journey on which no storm will make us faint of heart, come what may. We too will do what it takes.”
In his remarks, Secretary Geithner acknowledged Germany’s commitment to Europe. “We share an interest in building a stronger and safer and more prosperous world economy, and we recognize and support the critical role Germany is playing in helping lead Europe to a stronger and more viable economic union,” Geithner said. “And I agree with you, Mr. Ambassador, and we are confident that Germany has the ability and the will to do what is necessary to lead Europe to that stronger union.”
Both Ambassador Ammon and Secretary Geithner spoke of the abiding friendship and partnership between Germany and the United States in facing global challenges.
“The Fall of the Berlin Wall stands for the beginning of a new era – an era in which the world has seen dramatic change, where new powers have entered into the fore, where the Twin Towers tragically fell under a ruthless attack, and new conflicts in the world emerged,” Ambassador Ammon said. “I am happy to state that the friendship between the German and the American people today is as strong as ever, and even more so.”
Enlarge image Ambassador Ammon, right, and Mrs. Heimann-Ammon, left, welcomed Secretary Geithner, second from right, and his wife Carole M. Sonnenfeld, to the residence. (© Z. Garcia for Germany.info) Germany and America “understand and support each other in our strategies to address the global debt crisis,” the Ambassador said, calling Secretary Geithner “one of Germany’s most important partners in this struggle.”
The two countries have stood together in the financial crisis and on many common global challenges, Secretary Geithner said, calling the partnership between Germany and the United States over the past half century a source of strength for both nations. “Germany is an indispensable ally. We could not achieve our objectives in the world without each other’s support, and we the United States look forward to our continued partnership.”
Höhner rock the party
Enlarge image The band Höhner got the party rockin' with hits, like hits, like "Viva Colonia," "Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann" and "Echte Freunde." (© Z. Garcia for Germany.info) The highlight of the evening’s entertainment came when the German band Höhner took the stage, belting out hits, like "Viva Colonia," "Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann" (If not now, then when), and "Echte Freunde" (True Friends). The band hails from Cologne and members sing in the Kölsch dialect, though they are loved all over Germanyfor turning out irresistible party music. The German boy band Artig also took the stage later in the evening. Rounding out the musical program were the German Army Band. Deutsche Welle correspondent Max Hofmann was the evening’s MC.
Throughout the evening in the residence and garden, guests dined on German favorites, like Nürnberger bratwurst, Matjes herring, Wiener Schnitzel, Leberkäse, Reibekuchen, Currywurst and more. German wine and beer were also on the menu, of course.