The Berlin wall

Fifty years ago on 13 August 1961, barbed wire and other security fencing started to go up between the eastern and western sectors of the city of Berlin. Until 1989, the ‘Berlin wall’ divided communities and families, and stopped the free movement of people. It was a symbol of the ideological battle of the post-war world.

As people look back on the barrier that changed, even ruined, lives, let us work for a spirit of openness and understanding, of tolerance and freedom, and for an acceptance and celebration of difference and diversity.

May walls not divide us through religion, class, race, ideology, but may we find common cause in all that unites us and binds us together in a global community. Let us challenge the forces of evil that divide, imprison and violate. And in remembering the division, the separation, the tragedy and loss of the years from 1961 to 1989, may we celebrate our freedom and mobility, and recommit ourselves to work for justice with peace and reconciliation.