Today is all about bridges in Germany.
At a press conference in the afternoon, this day 25 years ago, Günter Schabowski announced that citizens of the GDR were allowed to travel freely. When asked by a journalist when this new arrangement was going to come into force, he hesitated for a second and then said that it was coming into force immediately.
People listening to this did not immediately understand what that meant. But it took just a few hours until thousands of people gathered at the bridge of the Bornholmer Straße and the border crossing to West Berlin. At 21h20 they let the first people pass, at 23h30 tens of thousands of people were passing without any further checks or passport control.
Bridges have also be important for Pádraig in the past 16 months. Many of them were missing or closed for a long time, but then opened unexpectedly for reasons still unknown to me. Those bridges were built, or re-built, for him by the hundreds of people around the world. When I look back over the past 16 months or so, he has moved on so much. Many, many things no-one thought were going to be possible, were made possible by people who did what they could do to help him – whether that was a prayer, a visit, a donation, a song or a poem, a swim, a run, a party, a coffee afternoon, a raffle, a table quiz, a text, tweet, call, or just a thought.
Pádraig is coughing quite a bit today. Maybe it’s just the change in temperature. We still went out with him onto the roof terrace, if only for 15 minutes or so. The weekend is very quiet here. There are no therapists and no doctors – unless in cases of emergency.
We’re going to continue to build bridges for Pádraig (and persons like him) with your help. And we won’t stop doing it, ever.
Today’s German Music Tip
Karat – Über sieben Brücken musst du geh’n
They probably were the GDR’s best known rock group.
The German word/phrase/verse of the day
Ostdeutsch – The Deutsche Welle has a great article on the differences of the German language between east and west.