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Nov.1999 Issue

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Berlin

Brandenburg Gate.

Braving a chilly winter rain, some 30,000 Berliners stood before the historic Brandenburg Gate to celebrate an extraordinary decade.

It was Nov. 9, 1999. Ten years earlier, Berliners had embraced, rejoiced, laughed and cried as they breached the Berlin Wall in an unprecedented peaceful revolution.

Now, they listened to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder--flanked by Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush and Helmut Kohl--speak of the accomplishments of the intervening years. Soon the crowd swayed and cheered as Mstislav Rostropovich and 160 cellists joined the rock band The Scorpions in performing their 1989 hit song Wind of Change. As the music floated above the crowd, torches blazed along the path where the Wall had once stood, and night briefly turned to day as the Brandenburg Gate exploded in a dazzling extravaganza of fireworks.


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Diplomatic Couriers
On the Road, From Rangoon to Russia and Back!

We've all seen the familiar movie plot. A strikingly handsome courier with a briefcase chained to his wrist foils repeated attempts to intercept the documents he's been entrusted with. The camera action sweeps to dramatic chase scenes through airport terminals and down highways as the hero applies a combination of skill and savvy to outwit the bad guys. Finally, just before the credit lines roll down the screen, the courier safely delivers the documents to the intended recipient.

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The Peace Corps--Foreign Service Connection

An estimated one in 10 members of the Foreign Service has served in the Peace Corps--where many of today's foreign policy leaders learned "diplomacy at the grassroots."

Frank Almaguer was fresh out of college with a bachelor of arts degree and an interest in everything around him--especially international issues. Unable to settle on a specific career path and caught up in the excitement about the newly established Peace Corps that swept college campuses during the 1960s, he enthusiastically signed up.

That decision, one he admits he jumped into without much thought, ended up shaping the rest of his life.

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1999 State Magazine, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Personnel

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