In Colleyville, more than 5,000 miles away from Berlin, people found a way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It was a night of remembrance and learning at GermanDeli European Food Store that included German food, drink and a wall made of more than 100 people holding candles and lit-up balloons.
The human wall of light mimics the 8,000 light balloons in Berlin.
“All of us will get a lighted balloon or candle to hold so we can stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Berlin,” Inga Bowyer, GermanDeli president said.
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To close the event, almost all in attendance lined up shoulder to shoulder and held their candles and luminescent balloons. As the store turned off its lights the parking lot was covered in darkness except for everyone holding the small sources of illumination.
In Berlin, an art installation composed of 8,000 LED-illuminated balloons ran along 10 miles of the former border.
Local students also created informational displays about life in Berlin before the wall and after its fall on Nov. 9, 1989.
Ben Lieberman, Grapevine High School German Club vice-president, talked to people about life in Berlin while the wall stood.
“This time of history is almost bittersweet,” he said. “It was the end of such unnecessary oppression.”
Dwight and Francis Gann of Euless joined 136 other attendees in wearing the names of the 136 people who died along the wall. Francis Gann said she wanted to be here with others for the wall’s anniversary.
“It’s all about freedom,” she said.
Colleyville Mayor David Kelly also came and shared some words to start the ceremonies.
“When measured in distance, 5,206 miles and the Atlantic Ocean separate Colleyville, Texas from Berlin,” he said. “But when measured by the human heart it’s only a beat away.”
Anne and Hans Kohlmann lived in Berlin while the wall was still standing and said they thought they would never see the wall be destroyed. Anne Kohlmann said she cannot believe it’s been 25 years.
“Somehow everything is still so close, it’s not like it happened 25 years ago,” she said.