twenty years ago today, november 9, 1989, the infamous symbol of soviet oppression, the berlin wall, finally crumbled at the hands of free people! that historic event paved the way for the subsequent reunification of germany - and, ultimately, the collapse of the soviet union and end of the cold war. the world hasn't be the same since!
berlin has a special place in my world. i spent most of the summer of 1984 traipsing around europe with a eurorail pass. the biggest chunk of that time was spent in italy, but the emotional highpoint of that summer was probably the week i spent in west berlin with a good friend. and of that time, our trip across the wall to east berlin was the most eye-opening experience of my then 21 years on this planet.
i made the obligatory visit to "checkpoint charlie" - now part of a museum exhibit - and the nearby museum of the wall. i purchased a poster of the iconic image of an east german solider tossing away his rifle and escaping to the west (by jumping over the barbed wire that would eventually grow into the wall). that poster still hangs in my office today - 25 years later.
check out this great coverage of the anniversary celebration.