My very dear friends,
what I want to say has nothing to do with our very good relation - it is a matter close to my heart.
In two weeks you, your families, friemds and neighbours are called to vote for a referendum to stay or to leave the European Union.
Mostly the economic matters are in the news and arguments, but these are - in my point of view - not the most important thing.
In the last century we had faced the horror and fear, death and tears of two horrible warsbetween our countries, and we even see the traces of it. But after the last of the too many wars we came more and more together, became good neighbours and some of us very good friends.
In Fort Myers/Florida you can visit die Homes of Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford. They also became friends and the door in their common fence was always open.
In 1961 Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer signed an agreement which opens the fence between France and Germany, and more the old idea of united European nations became more and more reality.
I feel it every day crossing the border between or home in France and our working place in Germany - but there is not real border anymore, and it is normal to do; some men have just forgotten that there is one - and we like it. If you don´t remember it - it will be a bad wake-up if one day you realize it´s gone...
We are active members of the German Red Cross and the blood donation society at our home and we have many friends in different nations. We don´t differ which passport they have because in our far history we would find out that we all have common roots.
Noone is an island, not in your street, your home town and your country, even not on our common continent or our common planet.
that just 150 years before we had to cross borders and pay taxes and customs just to go to the next town or village - it was before 1871 Germany was born as a nation.
In Germany most of our people learned
We got one currency (just like the EURO today) instead of several hundreds, we got common rights and rules (in this time they came from Berlin, today from Brussels) - but keep own rules in our own environmet as our regions and in Germany or France. History is a part of future!
We should learn that a good relation, neighbourhood, friendship is not to count money or fishing benefits. Friendship is to stay together, discuss about problems and find solutions - and have a good beer after! :-)
So - let me say again it is not a question of your personal friendship; this will stay anyway.
But for me it is a matter of heart that our nations, our people came closer together for better understanding - and not to forget what had divided us many years ago and brought so much sorrow and pain.
For that - just follow your heart and vote as it says. And about the problems - change politicians, not friends.
Ute & Edgard