Monday, November 09, 2009

20 Years Ago: The Berlin Wall fell

I entered the US Air Force in 1982. I won't forget the year in South Korea, guarding the perimeter of an Air Base. Or standing inside the small building in Panmunjom, where discussions are held between North and South Korea, with Chinese and North Korean soldiers standing nearby watching us. I can't forget the tensions of the Cold War that began a decade before I was born.

I'll never forget President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg gate saying, "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

No one in 1988 would ever have expected the change would come so quickly.

And I'll never forget the joy in the faces of people in East and West Berlin, as they climbed the wall, used picks and sledgehammers on it, and flooded through the gates into each others' open arms after decades of separation. The Soviet Union collapsed soon afterward, giving freedom to millions and an end to the Cold War. Liberty is an awesome feeling, especially when you have seen it from the other side of a concrete wall for years.

I still have my little piece of the Berlin Wall.

The small piece of concrete is in my bedroom, in my Dad's old jewelry box with his old tie tacks and favorite memorabilia. He died 20 years ago this year, as well. 1989 was a poignant year for me, filled with sadness and happiness. But with the range of emotions comes the hope of brighter futures, where walls come down and people embrace in unity and friendship.

Christ brought forth freedom from death in the future resurrection. It will be a day when the walls of Hades are torn down and we will be able to embrace deceased friends and relatives once again. And the freedom will be an awesome feeling.

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