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The Fall of the Berlin Wall

25 years ago today, the unbelievable happened:

The Berlin Wall fell.

It was the German dream, the German goal to tear down that wall and reunify, and it was always believed that it WOULD one day happen. But the might of the Soviet Union was so present and imminent, that nobody could believe it would happen in our lifetimes. The suddenness of the fall of the wall, the iron curtain, and the Soviet Union caught us all by surprise, and produced a state of absolute dream-like Euphoria.

To see people standing on the wall and taking hammer, chisel, and pick-axe to it openly, en masse, where formerly people had been shot or chased down by dogs for so much as trying to cross it to go see their families... it was unreal, and fantastic.

It was a night to be proud of being German, and to be proud of being American, and to be proud of my father as an American soldier, who helped hold the line against the Soviet Union, who helped wear down that empire, and who helped lead to the destruction of that barrier against German and human unity and dignity.

Even today, remembering that beautiful time, remembering the fireworks in the sky and the parties in the streets, it brings tears to my eyes. The bursting stars and pops and bangs of the fireworks were everywhere, for weeks, and the streets in every German city were filled with people celebrating, even in Stuttgart, in the Southwestern part of Germany, the opposite corner of the country over 600 kilometers away. There was not a single face in Germany without a smile. It brought us together as a people in a way nothing else ever has.

Yes, hardship was to come, and the German people knew that at the time, but we didn't care - we were one. And, in true German fashion, it was known that with perseverance and hard work, that hardship would be overcome. And it was.

I'm normally wordier in my editorials, but for this, I will allow these videos, this footage of the time, speak for me. Words can fail even the poet.

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