This week has brought some memories to mind that I hadn’t thought of for a long time.
Yesterday was Veterans Day. The memory that provoked was of my first trip to Australia. A friend took me to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. In the Gardens was a memorial built in honor of the soldiers who fought in World War I. It was constructed in such a way that at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, the sun would fall on the stone commemorating those fallen warriers who had fought in the “war to end all wars.” Sadly that hasn’t been true but the sacrifice of those soldiers is still worth remembering. The same is true of all soldiers who have fought in all the other wars since that one.
The celebrations recognizing the fall of the Berlin Wall brought back memories of a trip I made in 1990. I was with friends on a bus tour to Russia. To get there, we drove across Holland, Germany, and Poland. In Berlin, we were given the customary two-hour (or so) tour of the city before hitting the road for the next stop. On that tour we visited the Brandenberg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. We saw a section of the Wall which was still standing. I have a small chip from the wall. I thought about how the news used to contain stories of people who had braved the no man’s land to escape into West Berlin. I thought about how that city was divided into four sections.
All these memories make me thankful for the country where I live. People have given their lives not only so they could be free but so I could be free. They paid a high price for things I too often take for granted. May I never forget the freedoms or the people who paid for them.