Monday, June 13, 2011

Living With the War

Today was primarily a travel day. We left Hannover at 9 a.m. and headed to Berlin, Germany. As we drove, Ray passed around a book entitled "The Berlin Wall" by Volker Viergutz in order to enhance our understanding of the historic wall. Ray described America's post-war roles and the Marshall Plan, in which America invested $13 billion to 16 nations to help them re-build after WWII.

Later we watched a movie about the Cold War. One citizen of East Germany had a quote that moved me deeply: "The [Cold] War became part of our lives. We began to live with it." It is unbelievably sad that these people had to learn to live with a war going on in their homeland, a war not with guns but with bricks, mortar, barbed wire, and bad ideology.

As we drove through Berlin, Ray gave us a preview of the days to come. We were all amazed by the beautiful structures throughout the city. Most buildings are only ten to twenty years old because of the mass destruction from WWII and the failure of Communism to rebuild the city. We saw a few guard towers from the time when East and West Berlin were still separate, sections of the Berlin Wall, and huge construction projects, which are ever-present even sixty-six years after the war.

We had a few hours to get settled in and explore the area before dinner. After dinner we were honored to hear some of Louis Rabesa's experiences in the Air Force during WWII.

We are all looking forward to our next few days of the trip as we are historically enlightened by Ray, Cristy, and our wonderful veterans.

Posted by Emily Dickens

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