Read my article “Miami’s Gifted Section of Berlin Wall Unveiled (Photos)” on Cultist, the Miami New Times Culture Blog.
Sunday, November 9, was a rainy day, much like the day the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago. On that historical day, people gathered in the streets in protest. Some rushed to the wall, climbed over it, and broke it down, moved by a desire for freedom and years of restriction.
As the rain fell on Sunday, people convened on the corner of the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus to unveil the Berlin Wall segment gifted to the U.S. Almost three decades after the fall, saved pieces stand, testaments to the human need for freedom. Covered in graffiti, they are monumental works of public art.
Surrounded by onlookers dressed in red, yellow and black waving German flags, and the press, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, President of Miami Dade College Dr. Eduardo J. Padron, and the German Consul in Miami Jurgen Borsch each spoke. Before the segment was unveiled, they talked about the importance of this piece of history in an educational center like MDC Wolfson.
“Walls still exist in countries like Cuba and Venezuela, walls of water, walls of land,” Regalado said, adding that this is a symbol that “walls can be torn down and democracy can reign.”
Also in attendance were international German students from Miami-Dade. Out of eight that attend the Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami, one student was asked to attend the ceremony to represent them.
“The monument will spark students’ curiosity. When seeing the monument, students will want to know about the history behind it. Also, professors at the college will incorporate the piece into the curriculum. So, it will open students’ minds to a significant part of history,” said Alexander Kuehn. The monument is not only a symbol of the human spirit overcoming adversity, but a source of education. After all, as in the immortal words of George Santayana “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”