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I never made it to Berlin as a teenager in West Germany; our passports were no-fee passports and that was hazardous for travel in the Soviet bloc.  But Dad did take us one day to the border and we searched around until we found a spot, a road that abruptly stopped on a hill where you could see in a valley below the minefields and guardtowers, the border between East and West Germany, all to keep people in.  (We actually found a stone that was the actual border between the two nations – the minefields are set off a kilometer or so within East Germany – the square granite stone had a red line on it and on one side it said BRD [West Germany] and the other side read: DDR [East Germany].  So we walked around it and had pictures taken of us standing actually in East Germany!)   It made a sobering impression on me; this is one reason I was and am an implacable foe of communism.

I do not have anything pithy or clever to say about the day:  25 years ago the Berlin Wall was opened up and free transit restored.  But I wanted to acknowledge it here at the blog.  It doesn’t mean Communism is dead – far from it.  Here’s an interesting group who I know very little about:  The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

They are right:  1989 was a year of miracles.  I do, as most if not all of my readers know, trust in the God of the Bible, and I do not know how He always affects history, but I do believe that the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe was miraculous.

Starting with the Polish elections for 1/3 of the parliament (The Sejm) and all of a new upper house, the Senate, that Solidarity won every seat but one (a rich independent won the only other one – not a Communist) and soon Solidarity got to organize a new partially non-communist government in Eastern Europe – the first since 1945 or so.  (Solidarity proposed leaving Communists as minister of defense and interior to placate the USSR which turned out not to be necessary.  Also the military leader, Jaruzelski, was elected President of Poland by one vote – the Solidarity bloc in the Sejm made the deal but wanted to show it was the real power in Poland now.)   Soon that force of liberty spread to the largely non-violent overthrow of the Communist government in Czechoslovakia (now two nations – split also without violence) and also Bulgaria (Hungary had quietly implemented many changes such as a multiparty democracy as the communist regime reformed from within) had fairly peacefully shed its evil regime.  East Germany tried to resist but the want of support from Gorbachev doomed the DDR (German Democratic Republic) to fall and it did.  Only Romania had a violent revolution that happened just before Christmas 1989.

So, it’s great to remember the day.  I would issue a caveat:  Today the nations of Eastern Europe are in the thrall of the anti-democratic European Union and need liberation again.  Maybe UKIP will show the way – without racism, anti-Semitism or Nazi-esque stuff some of the euroskeptic parties in other EU have.

So remember the day, and the year.  Think about how freedom must be fought for.  It’s good to cherish the day and the event.  But as Ronald Reagan said:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

So let’s be true to the spirit of 1989 and fight for liberty.  I am thankful we can still do so peacefully.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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