Monday, September 03, 2012

A Great American & the Brandenburg Gate

When we were in Germany, the place I had my pinch me moment was the Brandenberg Gate. In no small part that was because of the speech Ronald Reagan made in 1987 at that spot. I went to college while the wall was collapsing. I thought I would get a Ph.D. in international relations with an emphasis on the former Soviet Union. My essay the year I was awarded the Truman Scholarship dealt with how we should respond to the countries attempting to leave the Soviet block.

The world has changed...dramatically since those days at the end of the 80s and early 90s. The lady we stayed with in Berlin told us stories of growing up literally surrounded by the Berlin Wall. Of a mother who escaped East Germany in dramatic fashion in the very early 1960s. Of being one of the first people pushed up on to the Berlin Wall the night it fell, and wondering if she would be shot by the East German military.

We live such a protected life. We take so much freedom for granted. We have liberty and don't know what to do with it.  My parents transmitted to me the importance of being involved of caring. I want to do the same. Because as one of the Reagan quotes in this video states,

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.


Ol' Tom said...

I appreciate your words so much. Not having been in the military myself, I awaited friends coming home from Viet Nam. As each friend returned, I noticed a far away look in their eyes and a hollow emptiness in their manner. One close friend disappeared from his welcome home party. I found him outside in the dark behind a tree. I sat down and he said, you know 4 days ago I was in the DMZ under heavy fire, when I got home I was expecting to find all of you with your world on hold waiting for our return only to find you all partying and not missing a lick. He never came out of that depression and a few other friends went through that hell only to come home and within a few years blow their brains out. The Price our Soldiers pay for our freedom is beyond what is made known. and President Reagan's words ring loud and clear to me after all of passage of time because the truth doesn't get stale! Now we have come to a time when the battles are turning inward, greed and corruption in our government are the norm. Lying is fine , twisting the facts is called spin and it seems like people just don't give a damn, I fear we will lose this great nation if we don't answer the wake up calls. I pray for a turning point soon to get back on course and again restore the greatness we once had.

Cara Putman said...

Amen, Tom. My dad was a Huey pilot in Vietnam and then again in Desert Storm. I wasn't around for the first, but did experience the second since I was 16. There was healing of sorts in the second because of the change in public support. But unless you've been the one in war or the family waiting, it's hard to imagine the experience. Praying for a return to our greatness.


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