FULTON, MO. — Cheers and high-waving flags met Mikhail Gorbachev Wednesday when he came to Westminster College in America's heartland to lay the cold war to rest.
Mr. Gorbachev's visit was a sunny outdoor spring festival. Quite a contrast to the visit of Winston Churchill, whose "Iron Curtain" speech at the same place 46 years ago unfolded inside a crowded auditorium.
"In my country, this speech was singled out as the first formal declaration of the Cold War," Gorbachev said. "This was indeed the first time the words 'Iron Curtain' were pronounced, and the whole Western world was challenged to close ranks against the threat of tyranny in the form of the Soviet Union and communist expansion."
Gorbachev spoke at the same carved wooden lectern used by Churchill, in front of a wall-like sculpture depicting the Berlin Wall and the cold war.
In the background was a 12th-century Christopher Wren chapel, removed block-by-block from England and reconstructed on the campus of Westminster College to commemorate the historic speech.