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Apparently it's the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Berlin Wall's being torn down. I can't bring myself to say the "fall," both because I'm a Sherlockian and that word has the same kind of double connotation as "precious" does to a Tolkien fan, but also because "fall" is passive. Saying the Wall "came down" misses the point, too, for me. This was a human achievement coming out of some very hard work and real risks.

I was too young to really have it mean anything to me at the time. It was maybe eighteen months after my first visit to Germany and six months before my second. But I remember the look on my grandmother's face on that second visit, when she finally got to see her cousins again (they'd been caught on the wrong side of the Wall after World War II), and I remember how moved my uncle (really, more a father-figure) Chris was because his uncle's family had been caught on the wrong side of the Wall and he had cousins he'd never even met and now he could get to know them. That's what the Wall and its being torn down means to me. Reunification, in every sense possible.

But really, I was just a id, and while I was quickly finding myself a home with Germans, I don't think I yet knew Germany, certainly not the Germany before the Wall was torn down, enough to have been moved by it at that level. So I won't pretend to speak for other peoples' experience. (juno_magic has some nice reminiscences, and I'm sure other people do too.) But I do know lots of you are German and I hope the anniversary is a meaningful one, if you were affected by this event.

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