Most people in the United States will not remember the date Nov. 9, 1989 as vividly as I do. This day was the day that the Berlin Wall basically crumbled.
The day holds a special place in my heart as I was in Germany that day. To be fair, I was in Germany from 1981 until 1990 and this was a day like no other. My father was a teacher for DoDDs at the time, teaching English and Journalism at Baumholder American High School, about an hour east of Luxembourg on the Western half of Germany, near Kaiserslautern.
I was in the second quarter of my senior year of high school, I am not sure what I did that day, but it probably started out with me waking up at 7am washing my hair in the sink and being driven to school by my father, you taught at the school.
Around 330pm school ended and we got home around 4pm. The only thing I remember about that day was that the one English speaking Channel (AFN) had images of people on top of a broken down wall, waving the German flag. I did not know what was happening at all. I turned up the sound a little bit and they were in Berlin. There were millions of Germans cheering and clapping and in a festive mood.
At first I thought maybe it was a holiday that I had forgotten. Then slowly but surely the news was sinking in. The Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall, whatever you wanted to call it, was basically no more. East Germans were spilling over the wall, West Germans were going into a world they had been unable to enter for 40 years.
I was astounded, I was not exactly there, but I was witnessing one of the most joyous events in history in the country that had been divided by this wall. I understood the history of it, I understood the monumental impact this would have. This was in essence the end of the cold war in my mind.
On this day, the entire world was German. 21 years later, the same emotions that I had that night are still with me today. I am proud to say that I was able to witness the unification of the country that I grew up in.
So the question begs, where were you on Nov. 9, 1989?