09 November 2009

Remembering a Great Day for Humanity

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. That may be the single most important political event in my lifetime. The toll in human life that Russian communism took is hard to imagine and hard to overstate, and its fall--initiated by the destruction the wall, which was its great symbol of its great features of fear, repression, and brutality--was a cause for joy around the world. It gave the world hope, real hope, for the future of humanity.

I will never forget where I was on that day when I heard the news; neither will I forget the images of people climbing the wall, dancing on it, singing out in protest, even while the East German border guards futilely soaked them with fire hoses. The guards knocked some of the revellers down, but it was too late: the wall was coming down now because it could not withstand the determined onslaught of people striving for freedom. It was a great day for humanity. I hope you too will celebrate it.

There are numerous stories, tributes, and memorials available on the internet. (Incredibly, my local newspaper, The Record, has not so much as a mention of the event in its front-page news section or on its editorial page. Shame on you, Record editors.) Professor Bradley Birzer wrote this provocative essay in commemoration of the event, which I highly recommend.

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