Where were you when..

As any adult of my age (or any other for that matter), I have a set amount of “Where were you whens”, things that happen that touch us so much that they are burned into our mind and psyche for our whole lives. We remember where we were, what we were doing when we found out the news and the (often) overwhelming emotions that went along with it.

My personal moments include the Challenger explosion, Jessica McClure falling into the well, September 11th, 2001 The Columbine High School shootings, the Oklahoma City Bombing, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding, Princess Diana’s car accident and death and the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Today being the 20th anniversary of the falling of the  Berlin Wall, that is what is on my mind. Most of my childhood nuclear war had a finger of fear in everything I did. That was my personal boogeyman. My monster in my closet. It scared me more than anything. But 20 years ago, for the first time in my memory, I did not fear a nuclear bomb. I was hopeful in ways that I previously had not hoped for. I was 28 years old. I had been married 6 years and had a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daugher. I rejoiced for those able to live without a physical wall oppressing them. I rejoiced for the rest of us that could sleep a little easier without that wall looming in the world. I cannot imagine how it must have been for those Berliners to walk over that threshold that first time. Joyous, indeed.

16 years later, Bethany was in Germany, walking over that same border, freely and willfully.

Here’s some of her pictures:

Berlin Wall, 2005

Berlin Wall, 2005

Side view of Berlin wall, 2005

Side view of Berlin wall, 2005

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

brandenburg gate

brandenburg gate, 2005

Although my peaceful sleep has been marred a bit as of the last 8 or so years, I still relish the falling of the Berlin Wall.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Where were you when..

  1. Isn’t it incredible? I remember the events of 1989 so clearly, as the news followed so many of the Iron Curtain governments falling… I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already.

  2. Can I tell you how surprised I was when I heard it’s been TWENTY years?!?!!? I remember that very well too. How quickly it all went down. From serious talks to it being destroyed in less than a week. Now I’m working on the *I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since 9/11.

    also I can tell we are close in age even w/o you stating your age in ’89. You didn’t mention the shooting of JFK.

  3. I pretty much echo what Lynn has said. And you must have been just a bit too young to remember JFK. That is really one of my most remembered and biggest “where were you” moments. I was three, almost four, my mother was wallpapering, and I had the giant kitchen knife she had been using to cut the wallpaper, and was stabbing (repeatedly, 100,000 times) the green plastic-covered kitchen chair — you know the ones of the time — that went with the formica-topped tables with metal legs. It was new at the time, and my mother must have been devastated after it was done, though I do not remember any punishment for it at all — just an “Oh, my God,” and the taking of the knife out of my hand. I do not know what that was all about. I do not think it was rage, at all. I remember it being a sort of educational inquiry in my mind — what would it feel like to stab this thing? Oh, this is cool! Had no idea I was doing any mischief or anything dangerous or anything angry. And my mom was both transfixed on the wallpapering she was doing as well as the coverage on the (black-and-white, of course) TV. We still had that chair, with multiple stab wounds, for many years hence. Heh.

  4. Doris

    I remember it very well. I was 30, married the same 6 years you were, had a four year old and a two year old and we were visiting my parents in Florida. My parents were both born in Germany so it was an amazing thing on many levels. My mom had lived in East Germany in her teens and had had no contact with her best friend because she was a teacher and felt that my mom’s letters from New York were dangerous to her (they were always opened before she received them and she feared the government’s knowledge that she had a friend in America)and had asked my mom to stop writing. Tears streamed down my mom’s face as the wall fell. I have always been grateful to have been there to share that moment with them. And it amaazes me to no end that it has been 20 years [after all, I am now only 35 ; ) ]