Monday, November 9, 2009

20 Years Ago Today


After hearing the rumors circulating ... I hopped on the U-Bahn at the Free University - where I was studying after serving as a volunteer in a community project in Berlin(West) - and rushed to Checkpoint Charlie.

There I saw the unfathomable right before my very own eyes!

Trabis, roses, Sekt (German Champagne), joyful shouts, tears and a grand celebration!

Around an hour later I rushed home to call and wake up my brother (4 am or so) in Illinois and persuade him to write a story with me and go down to the local newspaper and tell them THAT INCREDIBLE HISTORY - and NEWS - IS BEING MADE - RIGHT NOW and they have a direct link to all the action ;-)!

It challenged people's frames of mind, politics, international strategies .... as well as everyday life for me as a student and later as an author, a consultant, professor and even as a mother.

Since I had coordinated a program visiting families and communities in the East in the mid/late 1980s, I knew many families who were divided and folks who were restless; some shared their dreams of visiting me some day "on the other side." Indeed, one young girl I met in Zwickau with her family became our babysitter in Leipzig, Germany some 10 years after the Wall fell!

Now when I fly back to Germany to teach seminars on the art of dealing with conflicts -- many of my students do not remember ... have no clue ... were not born.

However, the excitement, the unfathomable, the historic and historical significance of that day live on within me! :-)

Take a look to find out what is happening in Berlin!

Dr Duly

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