can you imagine
a wall that keeps us apart
when we stand so near
In 1982, I visited the Berlin Wall that separated West Berlin from East Germany. The original wall was erected unannounced in the dead of night on August 13, 1961. Where the day before, one might walk across the street to visit a neighbor, friend or relative, now they were separated by an impenetrable wall, and remained thus separated for decades.
The original wall consisted of concrete posts and barbed wire. When I saw the wall in ’82, it was in its fourth configuration, 12 feet high and four feet across, with an additional inner wall, anti-vehicle trenches, watchtowers, electrical fences, guard dogs and mine fields.
On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, and — in a now famous speech — challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “open this gate… tear down this wall.”
The wall came down in November of 1989.
if we but open our minds
better yet, our hearts