Just some thoughts:
I think of all the places I have ever stood possibly the most poignant for me was here: The Wall. The Berlin Wall separating East and West Berlin.
To be honest with you I did not stand or stay too long. If I had it could have even become more of an emotional moment for me. I can still see a tv news film report of a person running from the east side of that wall trying to escape and running into a barbed wire fence face first and falling. Then guards coming and dragging that person away. What a price that party paid trying to get something that too often we take for granted.
I once was drinking coffee with a lady in Budapest who had lived under socialism/communism and I asked her what she now valued the most. She gave me a one word answer: Freedom. Freedom of choice.
As I walked from the wall I was reminded of two American president’s who once spoke in that city. June 26, 1963 John F. Kennedy, as he stood before the thousands of people said:
“All free men, where ever they may live, are citizens of Berlin therefore I take pride in the words ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner.”
Twenty-four years later June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan would stand before the people of Berlin and say those famous words:
“Mr.Gorbachev tear down this wall.”
A bit later after my time at the wall I talked with a man who was nine years old, was with his family in the crowd at the Kennedy speech. He said twenty-four years later he also was in the crowd and heard Reagan’s words. This man looked me in the eye and we shook his hand as he said: “It meant the world to us living here to hear such support from your country. I have not forgotten it.”
Nor have I. I just hope the rest of the world has not forgotten the difference between freedom and the control of socialism. If ever in doubt about its control ask someone who has lived under it.
August 11, 2019