Berlin Wall Anniversary and Happy 234th Birthday, United States Marine Corps

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s destruction. It would’ve been easy to miss as coverage was scant.

One could talk for hours about the significance of men and women swinging sledgehammers against the Wall. If you’ve ever swung a sledge against something solid – gosh, I’m going to have to describe this for the soft-handed Ivory Tower types, aren’t I? – you know that there can be a tremendous amount of recoil. Swinging such a large hammer is hard work, both propelling it forward and controlling it on the bounceback. Swinging it against something that doesn’t give way is Sisyphean.

Yet we’ve got photo after photo of mustachioed Germans hammering the wall with every bit of energy they can muster, recoil and uselessness be damned. That’s a mix of conviction, hope, frustration and certainty of outcome that’s rare in history. And from Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” [and the lesser-remembered "Open this gate"] speech to photos of the downtrodden, hammer-swinging Germans, you heard and saw little about the anniversary relative to its importance. Maybe next year, but probably not. It just isn’t in intellectual fashion, I guess.

Head on over to Darren’s “Right on the Left Coast” for one of the more memorable, moving pieces I’ve ever read in the blogosphere. “Freedom Is a Little Piece of Concrete” offers a personal view of the Wall and its destruction. It was a must-read a year and a half ago; it still is.

Today, November 10th, is another anniversary – the 234th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. I viewed a solid Marine tribute video from an unlikely place –, the website host – that’s worth viewing.

They’ve never won the Nobel Peace Prize, but few organizations have done as much to facilitate good and stop evil in the world as the United States Marine Corps.

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