Mr. President and Mrs. Gorbachev, Barbara and I would like to thank you for this splendid dinner, and for your wonderful hospitality and most interesting and gracious remarks.
Yesterday we welcomed the Gorbachevs back to Washington, still filled with memories of the things we shared in Malta: friendship, cooperation, seasick pills.
For us here in this country, Mr. President, this week began with our observance of our Memorial Day, a day for not only remembrance of those who gave their last full measure of devotion, but also, recommitment to the ideal that they shall not have died in vain.
And the week has now ended with a new memorial, a living memorial, marked by historic agreements on both nuclear and chemical arms. And they've been shaped by a remembrance of shared interests and a recommitment to forging a just and lasting peace.
And they stand as a memorial, not to the past, but to the future, a memorial to wars that need never be fought, to the hardship and suffering that need never be endured.
This afternoon we signed a landmark agreement to destroy the great majority of our chemical weapons, and we issued a joint statement recording major agreed provisions of a strategic arms reduction treaty. And the president and I also signed a commercial agreement. And we're looking forward to the passage of a Soviet emigration law. And we also agreed on this long-term grain agreement.
But true peace takes more than just laying down of arms. It also requires the reaching out of hands. And you know, Americans and Soviets have often tended to think of our two countries as being on opposite sides of almost everything, including the opposite sides of the world.
But we share an important northern border. And we are in fact, next door neighbors across the Bering Sea. And today we've also signed an agreement fixing our maritime boundary in the Bering Sea area, and announced our agreement to establish a U.S.-Soviet park across the Bering Strait, a new gateway to the Arctic, and a new gateway to the future.
Mr. President, I learned that the name of your home town, out in the northern Caucasus -- Prevolnoye -- can mean "spacious" or "free." I know my pronunciation was bad, but I'm sure I'm right when I say it means "spacious" or "free." Well, anyway, it reminded me of the new breeze, the new spirit of freedom that we've seen sweep across Europe and around the globe.
I sensed it last summer, speaking in front of the shipyard gates to the people of Gdansk, and I told them because Americans are so free to dream, we feel a special kinship with those who dream of being free. And today that kinship is quickly becoming a shared spirit, a spirit that inspires millions here in our nation, in your own, and around the world.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I invite all of you to join me in a toast to our gracious hosts, President and Mrs. Gorbachev, to lasting peace, and to this wonderful spirit of freedom.