By Myrna Maloney Flynn, President, MCFL
I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life. - Ronald Reagan
I don’t remember a lot about being seven, but I remember Alex. He was a German exchange student who lived with us after my brother returned from his stay with Alex’s family in what was then West Germany. I remember Alex pointing to the eastward horizon from our backyard one day, trying to help me fathom where his home was, and squinting in my attempt to actually see this mysterious land with very tall people whose words sounded so different.
I remember Alex telling me a story about a high wall that went on for miles, sliced the land in two, and trapped people on one side. I recall being frightened not only by the notion itself but by Alex’s tone; the way he described the wall sounded a lot like his description of German food or the Autobahn: it was just an accepted part of the culture.
A few years later, like you when you saw the impossible — the Berlin Wall suddenly toppling one night on TV, hoards of elated people atop it, yelling, waving, dancing — I felt a mix of amazement and disbelief. And I wondered, “Which powerful person finally brought it down?”
Yesterday, I came across an article in The Wall Street Journal that offers one highly inspirational answer: ordinary people. To be sure, influencers like President Reagan and Saint John Paul II undoubtedly caused the foundation beneath the concrete slabs to waver. Yet, according to the Journal:
“ . . . formerly secret documents from the Stasi archive and German government collections, along with interviews, reveal that the sparks that detonated the powder keg the night of Nov. 9, 1989, came from the men and women in the middle: largely unknown officials and average East Germans in history’s path. Their actions—some intentional, some not—produced the chain of events that, wittingly and otherwise, leveled the Berlin Wall that night.”
The article reminded me...Read more