Posted by: tgrevatt | November 10, 2009

Remembering 20 years ago

Twenty years ago today the Berlin Wall fell. I’m surprised how little mention of it there has been in the Twitter stream. Google US has the Count from Sesame Street on their page, at least German Google is suitably reflective. We had no world wide web back then, radio, newspapers and the television were our source for news. There was no citizen journalism from behind the wall on cell phones and social media. People were shot trying to cross the wall to freedom. Now the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is from the East. I wonder if she ever imagined becoming head of a unified Germany when she was going through high school.

I was eighteen years old, entering my final year of sixth form and struggling with A levels and work-life balance (a wonderful euphemism for partying). The fall of the Berlin Wall was the largest global event to occur in my life – hence, I am surprised at so little mention online over here. Maybe it was a bigger deal because we were in Europe. One high school friend traveled over there shortly after and I’m sure she still cherishes her piece of the wall.

For your entertainment, here’s a pic of me circa 1989 – I thought I had the coolest damn hair out there! I’ve enjoyed this reminiscing, and sit with a fond smile on my face because I’ve also remembered that it was 20 years ago last week that…. well, let’s just say the Berlin Wall wasn’t the only thing falling. Oh and by the way, yesterday was my 4 year anniversary of being a Canadian citizen, I didn’t imagine I’d be here back in 1989 either.

At the British Orienteering Champs 1989

A spectacular 80's hairday



  1. Hey Treena,

    I’m thoroughly enjoying your bimble so far. I look forward to reading more. I’m checking on you daily to see what is on your mind.

    As for the Berlin Wall not being as newsworthy here – I imagine a lot of it has to do with the distance (it being more memorable for you as you were living in Europe at the time). I myself was 12 years old and I remember watching it on the news with my European parents. I do agree with you though that it was an epic moment in history and should be treated as such.

  2. I was 4 in 1989, so had no idea what was going on. I have no recollection of the event itself, or it ever being talked about when I was growing up. But then this summer, I went to Berlin and took a tour with a fantastic guide around the city. It’s beautiful, and historic, and like Belfast I got a sense of how recent the “history” (and violence) of the city is. We saw parts of the wall, saw checkpoint Charlie and walked along where the graffiti art commemorates and celebrates all kinds of things. I really enjoyed the trip and found the whole experience really moving.

    We don’t talk about this enough in the UK. Isn’t the reunification of the East and the current peace in Europe one of the great achievements of the EU? We should celebrate that more, I think.

  3. It was huge over here, I remember the news casts showing the wall coming down and the interviews of east and west German’s alike. There have been references to the anniversary on CBC (T.V. and radio) and Chez this past week.

    BTW, that is a great photo of you….

  4. Love the photo.

    I’d like to say I remember where I was in 1989 but odds are like you I was discovering work/life balancing. Life was winning. (Not sure my liver has ever recovered.) At the time it seemed a world away — I suppose it still does.

  5. Of course I remember it! Having worked as a military intelligence officer in the ’80’s I “knew” that the Soviet Union would not fall for several decades (so much for military intelligence). Anyway, one year after the fall, I was in Berlin, running along the wall, having a great time.

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