The Fall of the Wall

I'm visiting the Czech Republic this week, and one of the things I find most interesting are the special events celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism here in 1989, as well as the popular revolts around Europe. Most notable is the destruction of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, with a special remembrance of President Reagan's famous speech to "Tear down that wall."

In Prague there are special photography exhibited scattered around town, in museums and public places. There is a special feel to Saint Wenceslas Square, which was the site of more than one attempt to rid the country of the Russians.  It's truly an amazing story, one in which the people never gave up on their own autonomy. And today we see the results: the Czech Republic and Slovakia, friends and neighbors, but separate countries.

There are remnants of Soviet occupation, including plaques and architecture, but what I see most is a people dealing with things such as tipping. Older folks just can't get used to doing it.

I've learned a lot about a history that I only loosely followed as it happened, but it tells me that people will always desire freedom, and that can't really happen under an oppressive government, no matter what those in government think.

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