Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bundeswehr bids Koehler farewell with military parade

Two weeks after his sudden and unexpected resignation, former German President Horst Koehler was honored in a ceremony at Bellevue Palace in Berlin on Tuesday night.

Marking a symbolic end to his six years as German president, Horst Koehler attended a ceremony put on by the country's armed forces on Tuesday evening.

A military band played the "Yorck March" as a formation of Bundeswehr soldiers marched onto the park outside Berlin's Bellevue Palace, the official government residence. The band also played "Marsch der Elisabether" by Johann Strauss and William Handy's "St. Louis Blues," which Koehler had requested.

The military ceremony is the highest in Germany and performed only for the president, chancellor and defense minister. Speeches are not part of such ceremonies, but Koehler was invited to a private reception at the presidential office by acting president and Bremen mayor Jens Boehrnsen.

Speaking in front of around 200 guests, Koehler defended his much criticized resignation.

"I made the decision that I held - and still hold - to be right," he said, according to a statement from the office of the president.

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I think he was a good president and regret that he resigned. But it seems that he was not really able to play this "dirty game" of politics and said to often what he thought, even if it was not popular to certain politicians.

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