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20 Years ago

Where were you 20 years ago on Nov 9, 1989?  It is one day that will live forever in the hearts of people in Germany.  It was the day the Berlin Wall opened up and eventually fell, allowing the reunification of East and West Germany.  It was also the one act that caused a chain reaction of events all across central and eastern Europe and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union.

In November 1989 I was living in Wichita Falls preparing to go to work at the local newspaper. I watched on TV and read in the paper all the news I could about the fall of the wall.  Little did I know how that one act would effect my life.  I could not imagine what would happen with my life due to the fall.

After working at the Wichita Falls newspaper for 2 years, I was recruited to go to work for the Dallas Times Herald.  I moved to Irving in Oct 1991.  Two months later, I found myself free from a job.  The Times Herald sold to the Morning News and I, along with 900 other people, were without a job.

That year proved to bring turmoil to most of the Soviet republics.  Most of them declared their independence during that year.  Little did I know how these acts would impact my life.

After the Times Herald closed on Dec 9, 1991, I had the opportunity to move back to Wichita Falls and return to the newspaper that I had just left two months prior.  But I decided not to do so.  I began praying and reading the Word.  After 6 months, I felt God’s leadership in moving to the former Soviet republic of Ukraine.

In 2004, I spent Thanksgiving visiting friends in Frankfurt.  I rented a car and drove to Berlin for a couple of days.  I took a tour of the city and saw the wall.  Later, I stood at Checkpoint Charlie’s, followed the bricks laid to indicate where the wall once stood and found a couple of sections that still stand in remembrance of what used to be.

As I imagined the events that took place on November 9, 1989, I stood there in awe of the impact that night has had on history.  Without the actions that happened in the fall of 1989 moving to Ukraine would never have been an option.  But because of it, I have been able to travel much of Europe and see sights that I might never have seen.

That night changed not only history and the lives of millions of people in Germany, central and eastern Europe, it changed my live!

Feel free to leave a comment on how the Fall of the Berlin Wall has impacted your life…

Comments

  1. I think the change that came to Eastern Europe in the late 80’s should serve as a reminder that things aren’t always going to be the way we expect. We often expect change for the worse, but seldom for the better. Working in this part of the world it’s easy to think that the status quo will remain, but this isn’t so with God in the equation.

  2. josephragan3 says:

    @Eric- How true it is that we often expect change for the worse… Even with their newfound freedom in central and eastern Europe, they still haven’t made as much progress as I would like to see… (of course, this is through the lens of an American). The King of Jordan once said “Democracy means different things to different nations.” This is so true. Many European countries (US allies) don’t allow the type of free speech that we have in the US.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Twenty years ago I was sitting in my gov/econ class…my senior year in high school. I remember it being a HUGE deal! It was definitely the highlight of that class. And if anybody had told me that I would be sitting in the FSU in twenty years, I would have told them that they were absolutely nuts!! Amazing.

  4. When the news hit the TV, I was glued to my TV. I never dreamed it would end in that manner. I lived in West Germany for 2 years. 78-80. When I took my job on post I had to go to a “swearing in”/oath ceremony. I had to swear that I would not travel to East Germany or East Berlin. I had to sign paperwork which detailed my rules. I still have these papers. I was told the amount of time allowed for travel between Checkpoints. There were 3. There were instructions on what items were required to be in the vehicle and the vehicle had to pass inspection. The vehicle HAD to make the trip. Should time between Checkpoints not be met, they would come looking for you. We heard of people attempting escapes by any means possible. The first post we lived at guarded the borders. Including Czech border. We all were very aware of the Cold War. Wives had to go through training on how to evacuate the country should “the balloon go up”. “The Balloon” being an outbreak of war between each side. We had to have a SOFA (status of Forces) stamp in our passports to evacuate. There was much conversation in regard to “The Balloon”. As a wife had I picked up a weapon during this event, I would have been a combative. That is why I asked to learn how to use an M-16. LOL The guys taught me verbally. Didn’t get to use one for training…dang it. The Fall of the Wall meant so much to me having lived in the shadow of it. When I went to Eureka Springs for the Passion Play, we went early. There are the grounds is a section of the wall. I could not wait to touch it! I cried. It meant so very very much to me. Freedom.

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