Friday, November 9, 2007

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

November 9th, World Freedom Day in the States in commemoration of the fall of the Berlin Wall and in celebration of democracy and freedom.

Eighteen years ago a bureaucratic mistake opened the gates which had been closed for twenty-eight years, allowing the East Germans to finally join again with their West German families, friends, and to put it simply... the rest of the world.

I remember very well where I was when The Wall fell. In college I did a stint at an all-night convenience store... it was pretty convenient for me all right, my last class ended at 9pm and the job started an hour after that. About one in the morning the business really fell off and if my work was done I was allowed to study, which I did. The entire time I would listen to KRZZ a now defunct classic rock radio station (thanks ClearChannel for taking away that piece of magic).

About three hours before the next shift was due to come in and replace me, the first stories came to me by way of good old KRZZ. "There are reports that East German citizens are storming the gates separating east from west...". Then later in the night, "It seems that with no fanfare, no explanation, suddenly the wall separating east from west Germany has been opened".

Wow, I was a million miles away in a little Kansas town, years before I would ever consider living in Europe, let alone in Berlin. It was the middle of the night and something so fantastic was happening a world away that it gave me goosebumps. Just thinking of all those people who had been forced to live behind a wall, forced into communism, separated from their family and friends simply because of an arbitrary line decided after a war. They would now be allowed to reunite, free of political and physical barriers - strike one up for freedom.

It was a monumental peaceful revolution, and I will remember that night for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

tqe / Adam said...

It's hard to believe that its been 18 years since November 9th. I forgot it was even the anniversary until I read your post.

Randomly, I've tagged you with a meme on my blog.