tear down the wall

The capacity of destruction runs thick through humanity’s veins. Whether it be our apathy or our deliberate vanquish, we use, take, and create, leaving behind a path too chaos.

Eastern Berlin. The buildings that remain are dilapidated. A grotesque smile, jagged teeth marked by broken windows, and  hollowed eyes marked by the abandoned terraces, stare out across a sea of grey. Grey, rectangular buildings stand tall throughout the city with the same windows, the same doors, the same grey concrete. There are fragments of memories here. Statues missing heads, arms, legs. Left behind from the bombings. Bits of the wall. Communism has erased much of the history but the graffiti retells it. Along the buildings, the streets, the freeway.

Two days. Almost all of the city destroyed by Allied bombardment. Once a culture hub, Dresden was home to music, art, and architecture. In only two days, all the history, all the culture, erased.

In the same regard, every individual has the capacity, the need, the desire to create. To rebuild. To share their own creativity. Our resilience is what drives us. It is at the core of our being.

Twenty years after the fall of the wall, Berlin is still rebuilding. Construction occurs at any given moment, at any given time. A symphony of jackhammers and bulldozers can be heard, harmonizing with the vendors playing their guitars, flutes, and drums. The buildings that were abandoned are marked by art. Spray paint venues can be seen from miles away. In their own regard,  the Berliners have reclaimed their city. Through their music, their art, their hope.

Cobblestone lines the streets of Dresden and I can feel my feet bounce with each step. My pace matches that of the beating sun as the rays stretch out sleepily across the water. The city walls are marked with massive cathedrals, government buildings, and lush, menageries of flowers. The main church sits in the center of the square and it has since been rebuilt. Upon reconstruction, what was left behind among the rubble was added with the new. Marked by their age, the ancient black stones speckle the young face of the building.

Seventy years after its’ complete demolition, Dresden now stands in all of its previous wonder. The walls stand as tall. The streets are filled with music and the church bells ring out every hour, of every day.

Both cities destroyed. Both cities a victim of the war. Both cities rebuilt. Both cities have culture and art. As a race, we have the power to destroy, we have the power to create.


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