Before German 101 and 102, I sadly knew very little about the Berlin Wall in Germany. Its demise came just a few months after I was born and so one may think that it is perfectly normal that I don’t know much about it but as we have spoken about in class time and time again, history and geography tend to be deemphasized here in the United States. It is a sad reality that I have come to find ever since I met my fiancé and became a bit more culturally sensitive. I think this is extremely important to point out.

The most important aspect was not the small and extremely astonishing statistics or facts but the bigger picture as a whole – the incredible lengths the Stasi and German Government took to place restrictions on civilians and the will of the common citizen to unite and overcome those restrictions. How many of us watched this and honestly told ourselves or others that we could act in such a brave and courageous way to go against such a strict and punishing Government in the way many of them did, especially after seeing many attempts and failures. In all truthfulness, I would not be able to act in such ways. My fearfulness would overwhelm me.

First, it is important to reflect upon our own lives and realize just how lucky we are to have what we have… the vast majority of us have never seen war and have never experienced such Governmental restrictions or hardships so how can we apply these lessons to the world or country we live in today? First, simply being mindful, knowledgeable and sensitive to what other people have gone through elsewhere and second, being appreciative for what we have and never taking advantage of that… knowing that one day we may not. Who is to say that another country may not wage war on America some day? It is important to remain aware and not become ignorant to these points. This phenomenon just seems to put life in perspective for me. I also find it is detrimental to express a deep thank you to our soldiers/troops that fight and die for our freedom… they obviously exemplify a tremendous amount of bravery and honor and deserve nothing but total appreciation from all of us! (so, thank you fellow classmates, Chris and Mike!)

Could you imagine the overwhelming feeling after decades of this intrusive and inhibitory wall finally coming down? Not seeing your family for 10-20 years and the excitement and joy one may experience as they are finally able to hug one another? The symbolism the wall stood for and the realization that with each other or strength by numbers, we can overcome almost anything we put our minds to… as naive as that may sound, German citizens were able to prove that in 1989! It must have been not only a relief but a complete feeling of accomplishment. What might this celebration look like with the total unification of Germany as a whole? I wish I could have been there to see it all unfold!

Kelsey Conrad

Word Count: 518

ger/102/2012/winter/kelsey_conrad_-_unity_celebration.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/14 12:32 by kaconrad
 
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