During a ceremony at the new NATO headquarters in Brussels, two memorials were unveiled highlighting two key values for NATO: solidarity and freedom – one, part of the Berlin Wall commemorating the victory of freedom over oppression; the other, a structure of tangled beams from the 9/11 attacks in New York, symbolizing NATO solidarity and our common fight against terrorism, as well as the commitment by NATO, codified in the clause known as Article 5, and invoked for the first and only time in 2001, to the collective defense of its members.
In his address to fellow NATO leaders, President Donald Trump praised the organization as “an alliance that has promoted safety and peace across the world.”
Mr. Trump emphasized the need for the NATO of the future to “include a great focus on terrorism” as well as the “threats from Russia and on NATO’s eastern and southern borders:”
“The recent attack on Manchester and the United Kingdom demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism…All people who cherish life must unite in finding, exposing and removing these killers and extremists.”
President Trump urged NATO members who have failed to do so to spend their fair share for their defense, noting that over the past eight years, the United States has spent more on defense than all other NATO countries combined.
The President noted that each of the two memorials unveiled at NATO headquarters “marks a pivotal event in the history of this alliance and in the eternal battle between good and evil:”
“On the one side, a testament to the triumph of our ideals over a totalitarian communist ideology, bent on the oppression of millions and millions of people; on the other, a painful reminder of the barbaric evil that still exists in the world and that we must confront and defeat together as a group, as a world.”
But the twisted mass of metal from 9/11 is a reminder, he added, “not only of what we have lost, but also what forever endures,” including courage, strength of resolve and “the commitments that bind us together as one.”
Underscoring the U.S. commitment to Article 5, the President said, “We will never forget the lives that were lost. We will never forsake the friends who stood by our side. And we will never waver in our determination to defeat terrorism and to achieve lasting security, prosperity and peace.”