November 9, 1989

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Twenty-two years ago today my wife and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64  (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers.   It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was.  Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things.  Not Ronald Wilson Reagan.  He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer.  His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors.  In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989.

Here is an interview Sam Donaldson did with Reagan immediately after the fall of the wall:

More to explorer

A Baby by any Other Name

    George Orwell, who literally wrote the book on how totalitarian regimes use language to serve evil ends, would have loved


  1. This is of course the world-changing “9-11” in Europe.

    And, though Carter is hardly is hardly my far from my favorite president I’ve always thought he deserves some of the credit for the Wall’s demise. His “human rights” campaigns and the Helsinki accords forced the USSR to open up at least somewhat and that was enough to expose the cracks in the system.
    They humored Carter by allowing a “little” freedom here and there but discovered “a little” freedom doesn’t work, esp. when Reagan followed up with his arms build up.

  2. The Soviets and the Warsaw Pact were doomed Thomas when they failed to crush Solidarity in Poland. A system built on little but force simply cannot long endure when its domestic adversaries no longer fear it. Solidarity, backed by the Pope and Reagan, demonstrated that the Soviets no longer had the will, or the stomach, to engage in the type of repression necessary to keep the Communist regimes in power.

  3. Two cool things:
    I got to touch a chunk of the wall at the “Newseum” in DC, and my oldest daughter was born on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall.

  4. “This is of course the world-changing 9-11 in Europe”

    Interesting that it is (because European usage is to put date first, then month), because 11-9-89 and 9-11-01 just about perfectly bookend the decade of the 90s, when some people were actually convinced that “the end of history” was at hand and America would reign forever as an unchallenged superpower.

    I do remember the fall of the Wall; it is probably the one historic event in my lifetime that really gives me hope that anything is possible and no evil is so entrenched that it cannot be conquered, or destroy itself from within.

  5. Foxfier your daughter had an auspicious birthdate!

    Elaine, the hand of God places into each human soul a desire for freedom. Tyrannies can do their worst to suppress that desire, but what God places into us no mere human regime can ever triumph over forever.

    “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”

  6. My good friend’s son-in-law,Lance King was in Berlin when the wall came down. He has a piece of stone from the wall which has pride of place on his mantlepiece in his living room.
    Certainly a memorable time. Now there are different tyrannies that attempt to subjugate us.

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