It was the ultimate sign of the Cold War, and a living monument of what happens when nations divide the spoils of war.
From the time I was born it was there and to be honest, I never believed it would come down.
And while I had seen the tapes of Kennedy's famous speech that included "Ich bin ein Berliner", I remember clearly watching Ronald Reagan's public demand "Mr. Gorbachev, take down this wall."
All that fall of 1989, we watched the protests grow ever stronger.
It's funny to think of those days now. I was just beginning to work for the Government of New Brunswick. I went to New York City for the first time in October with a bunch of university friends I was doing with my Masters Degree with. Earlier that year, we had seen David Bowie in concert.
Barry and I lived in small apartment a block away from the first house I'd ever lived in.
The potential fear of nuclear war that had hung in the air in the early 80s seemed to be dissipating, that is, until the protests began.
How would the USSR react?
We were glued to the television in the days leading up to November 9th. Each day brought a new story of courage, a swelling demand for freedom.
Their hope was infectious and we all believed that they would succeed, but at what cost?
We'd just seen the Chinese government crack down the previous Spring in Tiananmen Square - would the same thing happen in Berlin?
And then it was over.
Gorbachev capitulated and we watched in awe and through tears as East and West were joined once more.
Those are distant days, distant memories.
We hear a lot about the decadence of the 1980s, typically painted as the me-me-me decade.
And yet I think of things like Band Aid, Live Aid, Tiananmen Square, the Berlin Wall, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, The Romanian Revolution. The dying months of the 1980s were a turbulent time but seemed a portent of better things to come, even if the nearly final images, of Ceausescu and his wife Elena on Christmas Day, were the bloody footnote.
There was a sense that higher ideals might be rearing their heads once more. Would we say the same of this decade? I think of other places around the world where freedom is not yet available....
Today I will say a prayer for the many people who didn't make it over the wall.
But most of all, I will say a prayer of thanks for the people who stood firm in their belief that a government should not be able to hold its own people hostage.
Twenty five years. A lifetime ago.
Stay safe out there. xoxo wendy