Timeline Blog: 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
With the recent anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall, Timeline staffers took a moment to blog on the significance and impact that day played in history. That day signified the end of an era of depression and injustice in Germany. Not only did it close the time of the Cold War, but it marked a bright journey for peace.
Graphic by: Jerason Dean
By GLYNIS SEKARSKI
The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is iconic to many who understand the meaning of its significance.
Twenty five years ago German citizens tore down the 9-mile section of the wall that ran through the middle of Berlin, which had for nearly three decades separated west and east Germany from each other.
These brave citizens did this for many reasons but mostly because they were protesting communism and were ready for the end of the cold war.
People at this time were making fun of the wall, chipping away at parts of the wall, jumping over or on the top of the wall.
Which they should.
They should revolt against the communist and the censorship or the time and I’m glad they did.
By LYDIA MILAN
The Berlin Wall was an iconic symbol of the Cold War and when it came down people believed that the stalemate between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R was finally over.
Though it actually took weeks more for the communistic government to collapse, many people don’t know that the fall of the Berlin Wall was actually a mistake.
Guenther Schabowski accidentally announced that the borders were open.
I was not alive during the Cold War or when the Berlin Wall fell, but my grandfather served in the Army during the Cold War.
He never spoke much about his service.
This weekend was very emotional for many living in Germany and especially for those living there when the wall finally fell.
Nov. 9, 1989, is a day to remember.
By MOLLY CARVER
The Berlin Wall can sometimes be forgotten or overlooked by the millennial generation.
The wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, and it has been 25 years since its fall.
There are some surprising things about the fall that you may not know.
Did you know that a mistake is what led to the fall of the Berlin wall?
That translates into, Politburo member Guenther Schabowski, on Nov. 9, 1989, mistakenly announcing that East Germans would be allowed to cross into West Germany effective immediately, according to National Public Radio.
The interesting thing about that fact is that an easy mistake turned into the takedown of a wall that separated a country for almost three decades.
Now, 25 years later, we take a look back and as a millennial have you forgotten?
Maybe you knew about the wall, maybe you didn’t.
However, the fall of the Berlin wall was a moment in history to not soon be forgotten.
By STACEY BIERMANN
Nov. 9 marked the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall.
Throughout Germany events took place to celebrate the freedom of Berlin.
Over 8,000 white balloons that stretched over 9 miles representing the wall were released one by one at the “citizen’s party” in Germany’s capital.
Chancellor Merkel and Mayor Klaus Wowereit spoke at the ceremony and Peter Gabriel performed, with a display of fireworks ending the night.
I think it is wonderful that the city is able to honor their freedom with an emotional and celebratory memorial.
By KEATON ARMSTRONG
In 1961, work began on a barrier unlike any that came before it.
The Berlin Wall began as a barrier that surrounded West Berlin, preventing any access to and from East Berlin and the rest of East Germany. For nearly three decades the wall kept citizens from the communist East Germany from entering capitalistic free West Germany.
The economic state of Eastern Germany was in danger of collapse due to the millions who left for West Germany.
This horrific divide eventually became more than just an effective barrier.
It became symbolic of the division of East Germany and West Germany throughout the Cold War.
In this, Germany saw a divide of communism from the western influences such as democracy.
On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell.
This day should continue to be recognized for many important reasons.
The Berlin Wall was symbolic of many things such as communism, division and the Cold War. The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolically was the death of all of those things.
Germany can rejoice in its unification.
The world can rejoice in the end of the Cold War.
By JEFF JONES
Twenty five years ago a step toward democracy took place that shook the ground of a divided nation.
The Berlin Wall had crumbled.
For many, the anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s destruction in 1989 is a reminder that we as humans cannot be held captive from freedom.
“Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom,” said U.S. President Ronald Reagan, in his speech at the wall on June 12, 1987.
Russia was constantly threatening the world with communism.
In the countries they occupied they did not allow free enterprise.
Countries taken over were not allowed freedom to travel, free trade, etc.
The government made decisions on everything, workers were not allowed to organize unions and there was only one governing party.
The Communist Party.
The reason it is important to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall is, we do not want another Cold War.
Right now Russian President Valdimir Putin is acting like the Soviet Union of the 1960s and pushing countries around as we have seen with Ukraine.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same,” said Reagan.
By CHELSEA GAMMON
The constant tension of the Cold War, threat of nuclear weapons and two global superpowers determining the life or death of millions was a constant concern from 1945-91.
The Berlin Wall embodied a horrifying symbol of Communism.
On the West side, freedom.
On the East, difficult life or dangerous escape.
To commemorate the immense wall’s legendary fall, the Brandenburg gate resembled a fairytale scene from “Tangled,” with over 8,000 balloons released along the former border.
Do we realize the significance of the Fall in 2014?
At 21 years old, this event occurred before I was born.
There is a picture of my parents standing in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall here in the States.
Clearly they understood its significance.
I have experienced difficult world issues in my lifetime — the chaos and fright of 9/11, the uncertainty of the Recession and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
Never, however, have I seen such a terrifying tangible barrier to freedom.
Are Millennials aware of the Berlin Wall, its fall and its significance?
If not, history is not dead but very much alive and it is increasingly necessary to cultivate an educated, aware democracy.
This anniversary has sparked my interest and given me a renewed appreciation for the land of the free, home of the brave.
By REID CURE
Twenty five years ago an era came to an end.
While most of us on the Timeline staff were not a part of this world yet, the significance still echoes in our lives today.
The Cold War is a reminder that can send chills down your neck, or give you a warm feeling, depending on how you look at it.
Whether you see it as what could have happened, or what did not happen, the wall was in the middle of it all.
In the storied history of Germany’s role in World War II and the ensuing Cold War, the Berlin Wall was a strident symbol of the wreckage caused by communism.
Thus, the dropping of the gloomy barrier holds a strong piece from the hearts of those involved.
Certain moments in history will always be remembered annually, and, for Germany, some may say this could be one of their greatest memories.
There may not a lot of positive connotations that pop into the mind of any bystander when asked what they think of Germany.
With such a dark and gloomy past, it’s justified to say this anniversary should ring louder than the memories of world wars and nuclear threats.
Germany and the world should forever praise the day that freedom won.
By HANNAH BALLARD
The Berlin Wall was more than just a wall to separate people.
The wall stood for so much more. The Berlin Wall was the government violation of human rights.
The people of East Berlin were not allowed to be free. They didn’t get the freedom people deserve.
The people were trapped and separated. The Berlin Wall — though it came down 25 years ago — reminds us of the symbol for all the pain the people of Berlin went through.
People have forever been changed from the Berlin Wall. Twenty-five years after finally getting freedom, the people of Berlin celebrated it as needed.
Tags: 25th Anniversary, Berlin Wall, Chelsea Gammon, Glynis Sekarski, Jeff Jones, Jeffrey Jones, Jerason Dean, Keaton Armstrong, Lydia Milan, Missouri Baptist University, Molly Carver, Reid Cure, Stacey Biermann