MORE than a million Germans (德國人) and people from around the world on Sunday celebrated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (柏林圍牆), the event that – more than any other – marked the end of the Cold War (冷戰).
A spectacular 15 kilometre-long line of 7,000 illuminated helium balloons traced the course of the barrier that once snaked through the city, slicing across streets, between families and even through graveyards.
They were set free one after another into the night sky, symbolising the breaching of the Wall by crowds of protesters in 1989. The Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra (柏林國家管弦樂團) played Beethoven’s (貝多芬) Ode to Joy (《歡樂頌》) from his 9th Symphony in front of the Brandenburg Gate (勃蘭登堡門).
“We’re the happiest people in the world and we’re thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago,” Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit (沃維雷特) said.
Despite the fog and cold, many wandered along the former ‘death strip’ where the Wall stood and where the illuminated helium balloons forming the Border of Light were perched 3.6 metres high on poles, matching the height of the barrier built in 1961 by communist (共產黨的) East Germany (東德).
The crowd also cheered when former Soviet (蘇聯的) leader Mikhail Gorbachev (戈爾巴喬夫), widely admired in Germany (德國) for his role in paving the way for the Wall’s collapse, stood and waved.