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  Gerald Ford - Remarks in Helsinki (August 1, 1975)
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ContributorThomas Walker 
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DescriptionMr. Chairman, my distinguished colleagues:

May I begin by expressing to the Governments of Finland and Switzerland, which have been superb hosts for the several phases of this Conference, my gratitude and that of my associates for their efficiency and hospitality.

Particularly to you, President Kekkonen, I must convey to the people of the Republic of Finland, on behalf of the 214 million people of the United States of America, a reaffirmation of the longstanding affection and admiration which all my countrymen hold for your brave and beautiful land.

We are bound together by the most powerful of all ties, our fervent love for freedom and independence, which knows no homeland but the human heart. It is a sentiment as enduring as the granite rock on which this city stands and as moving as the music of Sibelius.

Our visit here, though short, has brought us a deeper appreciation of the pride, industry, and friendliness which Americans always associate with the Finnish nation.

The nations assembled here have kept the general peace in Europe for 30 years. Yet there have been too many narrow escapes from major conflict. There remains, to this day, the urgent issue of how to construct a just and lasting peace for all peoples.

I have not come across the Atlantic to say what all of us already know—that nations now have the capacity to destroy civilization and, therefore, all our foreign policies must have as their one supreme objective the prevention of a thermonuclear war. Nor have I come to dwell upon the hard realities of continuing ideological differences, political rivalries, and military competition that persist among us.
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