Duration: 5 minutes
Instrumentation: piano and SATB choir (orchestral instrumentation available under Let the Word Go Forth)
For the National President's Day Choral Festival, Gary R. Schwartzhoff, artistic director and conductor, honoring John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, as commissioned by Music Celebrations International, John Wiscombe, President
I am proud to come to this city as a guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized around the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin.
Two thousand years ago the greatest boast was “civis Romanus sum.” Today, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
There are many people in the world who really don’t understand. Let them come to Berlin. There are some that say that Communism is the way of the future. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the communists. Let them come to Berlin.
So let me ask you to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, beyond the wall to the day of peace, with justice, beyond yourselves, and ourselves to all mankind.
Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.
All free men, wherever they live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner.” (JFK Address in West Berlin, June 26, 1963)