Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the citizens of the United States, I congratulate the people of Germany on your celebration of the Day of German Unity on October 3.

"The unified Germany we see today inspires people around the world because of its commitment to democracy, human rights, and prosperity. This year’s observance is especially momentous as it marks the 25th anniversary of German unification.

"As a boy living with my family in Berlin in the 1950s, I hoped for, but could scarcely imagine, the Day of Unity we celebrate today. The differences between East and West that I saw firsthand were stark. But thanks to the tenacity of generations of Germans who refused to accept the idea of permanent division, those differences have been erased, Germany is a united nation, and even more so, it is a symbol of hope to people everywhere who yearn to overcome their own divisions.

"The alliance between the United States and Germany is a cornerstone of the entire transatlantic partnership. So as Germans celebrate today, they can do so secure in the knowledge that the United States is deeply committed to a future of continued friendship and mutual support.

"As you gather in Frankfurt and in cities and towns across Germany, I wish you continued good fortune and thank you for all the contributions you are making to a Europe whole, free, and at peace."