I lived in West Germany as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics joined innumerable failed nation-states on the dust heap of history and, in stunningly short order after that happened, the Warsaw Pact held a going out of business sale and did.
A good friend from back in those days, Roger, shared a terrific article that I hope you'll find the time to peruse so that you can experience through the eyes of an elected West German leader who grew up in a 'house divided' what feelings and emotions he had at that time, and today, looking at the carnage in the Crimea, and what he fears could happen next on a continent he very much loves.
Roger and I worked together in the same place for quite some time back then and though we had gone in different directions some time earlier, in a way we both wound up returning to the Land of Boundless Opportunities (click the speaker to hear what Germans call our country and remember some of the things we have called ourselves in the years gone by) because of the seismic shifts that happened in Europe as a result of the Fall of the Wall and reunification.
Today is Germany's birthday. Herzlichen Gluckwunsche und alles gut. I have a ton of memories from the run-up to this day and know that for many on both sides of what once was a border, hearts are filled with mixed emotions of what was lost but what has been gained.
Whatever gains you have, buddy, be advised they're short-lived because when you win, only you win; but when we win, so does everyone else. Ask Honecker and his bright red harmonica. Glück auf! (You'll need it)
- bill kenny