When I opened my browser today Google was showcasing a video of the Fall of the Berlin Wall as a commemoration of its’ 25th Year Anniversary. I can’t help but think that this happened in my lifetime and I am grateful.
I just finished high school when the East meets West in Germany, it was momentous, it was in the news all the time, recapping events, speeches made before the wall came tumbling down like dominoes. We, meaning the Philippines, joined in the celebration but personally I didn’t understand how this affects me until I got involved in development work and made sense of what this kinds of events in history represent.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall signaled a lot of change — as we were entering the last decade of the 20th century and before the new millennium. The wall crumbled, divided, distributed and displayed prominently in many countries around Europe (Where is the Berlin Wall now?), thanks to people of East Germany, of Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms and the world who believed that all men should be free and equal. The impact of this momentous event rippled not only in the Western world but also to the Eastern part of the globe.
Sovereignty of many countries were achieved – the Cold War ended, the USSR broke down, countries were liberated. Russia became more open to dialogue while pro-communist countries started to liberalize their outlook towards globalization.
The world started to move forward.
The wall signifies a break in the division between people.
The wall encouraged forgiveness of others and of one self to start over.
The wall does not diminish the truth that atrocities of the past did happen — it will be a constant reminder that men are capable of doing something great however the price to pay.
But how is it now?
Is the Wall or the remembrance of the Fall of the Berlin Wall still has its meaning in the current world – today in 2014, in the 21st century? Or are we just repeating history with the continued fighting in Syria and other countries in the Middle East, in civil wars in Africa, in the division between Palestine and Israel, in the rising of terrorist group who does not identify with any country?
Has it’s meaning already diminished that many are repeating history again – stories of atrocities that we all fought long and hard to quell and eventually stop?
Humanity is battered then and now … we have very short memories, we don’t listen to the wisdom of the old, we remain to be selfish.
Will be let history repeat itself and hand over the problem to the next generation — our children’s children generation?
Is it really a happy occasion — remembering the Fall of the Berlin Wall?
More on the Fall of Berlin Wall
In Pictures: 25 Years Since the Fall of Berlin Wall – a story in images
Sophie’s family story of the fall of the Berlin Wall – describing how it was then for the young people of today so they will not forget.
Robert Hansen’s Blog – talks about Leipzig pre 1989 and recently and the lack of interest and remembrance in the US (knowing that Pres. Regan was instrumental in the talks of freedom in the Eastern bloc)
The Berlin Wall – a little history lesson