Arthur Christopher Schaper
One of the my strongest memories from childhood was watching the Berlin Wall come down.
To this day, I tear up when I recall the protesters dancing on the wall, then knocking out chunks of that ugly blockade. Before that November evening, I remembered watching a documentary about the Berlin Wall. Many people tried to cross over, and many died. Before the wall came down, crosses of the deceased decorated it, a reminder of the lengths that people would take to flee tyranny.
Then November 9th, 1989, and the German people assembled to destroy that forced partition.
The celebration was electric, and you could feel it through the TV Screen. Two years later, I was still an elementary school kid, yet watching the morning news, the morning vespers of Russian priests, I understood the deep implications of the Berlin Wall falling, and the end of Communism.
Thinking back to the November 9th, 1989, I knew then that something epic was taking place that evening, and I was still in elementary school.
Twenty-five years later, the world is recognizing and reflecting on that epic day.
When I listened to the newscasters on CBS Sunday Morning (11-9-2014) questioning the consequences of this event, I have to wonder how short the memories must be for these seasoned journalists. Have they already forgotten the oppression of East Berliners who wanted to flee? Do today's media elites really think that Germans welcomed communist rule in any section of their country?
Have they forgot the foresight and faith of the fortieth President, who relied on soft power and clear diplomacy to have that wall removed, as well as all that it stood for?
Let us never forget that President Ronald Reagan pressed for the demise of the wall not just during his Presidency, but as early as 1968. When the rest of the world (including the effete, arrogant intelligentsia) were convinced that the Berlin Wall would outlast contemporary politicians, Reagan envisioned a world free of the wall. From the outset of his Presidency, the Gipper wanted that wall to come down.
He demanded Soviet premier remove that immoral blockade in his famous Brandenburg Gate speech.
In 1989, after his retirement, President Reagan finally saw his dream realized, and chipped away a piece of the wall for himself.
The Berlin Wall came tumbling down on November 25th, 1989, a symbol of oppression not just in Europe, but throughout the world. Its demise represents not just the eternal value in God-given freedom and individual sovereignty, but the unsurpassed resolve of leaders who stand for the truth, rather than caving into the pressure of the momentum or accepting the conformed certainties of our times.
We need this kind of courage and resolve again in our country, and everyone of us can bring it to pass. Whatever walls dictators, enemies of freedom may erect in our lives, we have the power, the strength, the mandate to take them down, and never let them rise again.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.