Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Checkpoint Charlie

Ambassador John B. Emerson and his wife Kimberly lit the Christmas tree at Checkpoint Charlie on December 1, 2014. The annual tree lighting commemorates a 1961 event when a thousand Christmas trees were erected along the Berlin Wall to express solidarity with the people who lived in the former East Berlin. The illumination symbolizes hope, peace, and unity and also commemorates the Allied Forces who stood guard at this site and could not spend Christmas with their families. 25 years after the fall of the Wall, Ambassador Emerson said that “for Americans, the fall of the Wall and the unification of Berlin are symbols of the commitment to freedom, peace and prosperity that our two countries share.”