Dr. John Counts, former Chief of Staff, United States Command, Berlin, Germany
Air Dates: November 22-25, 2014
This week's guest on "Report from Santa Fe" is Dr. John Counts, President Emeritus of Western New Mexico University and former Chief of Staff, United States Command, Berlin, Germany at the time the Berlin Wall came down. This month the world observed the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and Dr. Counts was not only an eyewitness, but also a major player in this important historical event that proved the triumph of freedom over tyranny and ended the Cold War.
Dr. Counts is both a soldier and a scholar. For 18 years he was the President of Western New Mexico University in Silver City, N.M. He also served in the United States Army for 33 years and was awarded the Purple Heart. He served many combat tours in Viet Nam, was the Chief of Staff at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and was Chief of Staff, United States Command, in Berlin. He offers an eyewitness account of the events that led up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the exciting events that surrounded this landmark event, and explores the world-changing timeline of the historical markers that occurred after the wall came down. Counts also shares personal, rare historical photographs that he took at the time.
From visits by U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, with clips of their famous remarks, to images of Checkpoint Charlie being lifted off its foundation and removed as a symbol of a divided Berlin, Counts provides a participant’s view of a pivotal moment in history -- one that changed our world forever.
"The fall of the Wall showed us that dreams can come true. Nothing has to stay as it is."
-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at the celebrations observing the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall