The 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is approaching.
President Reagan had challenged Gorbachev to “tear down this wall;” as students we chuckled in disbelief, “yeah, right.”
However, 30 years ago on the night of Nov. 9, 1989 – it came down!
I remember the hope -- the positive energy -- people hugging across political fronts -- families reuniting -- the joyful headlines: Berlin -- East and West -- now united! Many thought this signaled the end of the Cold War and a new era of international peace and reconciliation.
Celebrations lined the streets around Check Point Charlie. It was a historic moment -- one I will never forget -- and I have to confess: I skipped all my classes the next day and woke up my brother at 4 AM to share in Elgin!
It is important to revisit these memories of hope, now, in a world bombarded by challenges. One huge crisis we have never faced before -- the greatest threat to humanity in this millennium -- is the Climate Crisis. 97% of all climate scientists agree -- this is urgent. Life on earth is threatened!
In contrast to the Cold War, as Margaret Klein Salamon attests, “Though we cannot stop climate change in its tracks, if humanity acts with focus and urgency, we can prevent the worst damage, and thoughtfully respond to the changes in the climate we have already caused. The question is how to achieve the political will necessary to fight back.”
If Churchill were alive he might remind us: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak” – and take action!