Yet another weekend has passed with the opportunity of travel well taken advantage of. I went to Berlin this weekend with a couple of my friends from basic training. Our intention was to take in the sights, but this time I was playing the role of tour guide. I had already been, so I was somewhat familiar with the city. We were fortunate to arrive on the 2nd of July, and we were able to catch some of the live eight concert. I was not too interested, but it was fun to catch it in passing. The Reichstag building, location of the last battle between the soviets and the Nazi’s, still impresses me, with its seamless transition between the modern architecture and the neo classic shell. The transparency of all of the German government buildings is an interesting design feature.. it is a sort of non-verbal communication to the citizens that the government is not holding any secrets from the people. Every time that I walk through the city, I see the inlaid bricks that show where the wall once stood, shows me the power of freedom. The wall was more than just a lot of concrete, but contained many items, all produced in Germany, that made it a barrier to peace. It was a hinterland wall, electric fencing, observation towers, expanded metal fence, arc lamps, dog runs, bunkers, hank barriers, barbed metal tatting, and the border wall, which the guards called Mauer feindwaerts, or the wall facing the enemy.
It is truly amazing to me that such an obstruction to justice and freedom was allowed to stand as long as it did, but it is even more amazing that, without resorting to war, subversion and civil disobedience, and the ray of hope known as freedom, was able to bring the wall down. On August 15, 1961, 2 days after the wall was put up the first border guard defected from the east, and he was the beginning of a movement that spawned great development by private citizens in the art of escape. One should never have to flee his own homeland because of the desire for freedom.
Enough history for now, I will add a few more posts about other sites later. While I was in Berlin, I went to a bar, to celebrate the 230th birthday of the United States. While I was at the bar I met some charming, and humorous American College students on holiday. We had many adventures to include barhopping through Charlottenburg, and walking barefoot through Berlin in the wee hours of the morning. It was great to have someone to hang out with that understood, and appreciated, the 4th of july as much as I do. I now have their blog address, and intend to keep in touch with them as long as possible.
Well, enough for this post, I will add more in a day or two. Much love to the Patriots of Freedom, and the Warriors against terror, here and around the World-