Monday, November 9, 2009

The Fall of The Wall: "Freedom Danced Before My Eyes"

A treasure trove of terrific pieces are flooding the newspapers - both online and in special print-only sections - today, the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This morning, New Creation highlights an unusual piece with the perspective not of 2009 but of 1989. It is the Op/Ed piece which Tom Brokaw wrote in the immediate days following the fall of the wall in November 1989. Read through his account of the events and of people's emotions - his included - and reflect on how far we've come, and how much has changed in two decades.

When I arrived in West Berlin Nov. 8, the morning after the East German Government resigned, Mr. Krenz was reorganizing the Politburo. There was a growing feeling that the Communist Party was on the run, panicky in the face of mass migration and ever louder voices of dissent.

At Checkpoint Charlie, however, expressionless guards remained true to their calling, running every visitor through time consuming and exasperating searches. On the East side of the Brandenburg Gate, we were allowed to record segments for Nightly News, but the 100-meter no man's land between the streets of East Berlin and the wall still was being patrolled by Army units with weapons and dogs.

The next day, Thursday, Nov. 9, word began to leak out that the Politburo had decided to legally recognize the opposition parties and prepare for free elections. It was a dramatic concession, but still nothing about the wall.

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