Twenty Years Ago Todayby Doug Mataconis
The people of Germany are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the end of the division of their nation:
With prayers, music and pomp, Germany on Monday remembered the 20th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall fell, sending East Germans flooding west and setting in motion events that soon led to the country’s reunification.
Chancellor Angela Merkel — reunited Germany’s first leader to grow up in the communist east — started the day with President Horst Koehler and other leaders at a prayer service at a former East Berlin church that was a rallying point for opposition activists in 1989.
“We remember the tears of joy, the faces of delight, the liberation,” Lutheran Bishop Wolfgang Huber told the congregation at the Gethsemane Church.
East Germany’s fortified border crumbled on the evening of Nov. 9, 1989 after 28 years holding in the country’s citizens — a pivotal moment in the collapse of communism in Europe that followed a confused announcement by a senior official.
We aren’t that far away from the day when the Berlin Wall will have been down longer than it was up, and that’s a day to look forward to.
This video does a great story of telling the story of how this happened:
And this ABC retrospective looks at how the fall of the Wall ignited a fire across Eastern Europe:
And, while we’re at it, let’s not forget the role this guy played in the events that brought about the collapse of what really was an evil empire: