9 November 1989. If I could time travel, I would go back to that date. I would head to Berlin and watch the wall come down.
I was alive when it happened. I was 13 years old. We were living in Hobart. I had started my first year of high school. Our family restaurant was operating for about a year. And I saw images of the wall tumbling broadcast onto our television screen.
I didn’t know the events that led up to that evening. I just remember believing it was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. And maybe, one day in the not too distant future, my parent’s homeland, the place of my ancestors, would be reunified too. But more than three decades on North and South Korea are still firmly separated.
I would love to have been in Berlin that evening of 9 November 1989. Seen the moment when people armed with picks broke through the barrier separating east and west. The street party would have gone on for days. And if I went back in time now, I might be able to truly understand the significance of that night.
Perhaps if we persist long enough – if we never give up – eventually the world will turn and the change we long for will arrive. We may never see it in our lifetime, but one day wars will cease, misery will end, and peace will flow out like a river transforming all it touches. Injustice will end and all that is broken with this world will be mended.
It’s something my faith promises me. A sure hope that will survive even beyond my death. We see glimpses of it in this world today. Something that points to a better time. A better world.
Two years or so before the Berlin Wall fell, a US President gave an almost prophetic speech:
As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: “This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.” Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom.President Ronald Reagan – June 12, 1987
Anyway, if I could, I’d like to head back to 1989 and spend some time in Berlin.
For bloganuary. If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?