Thursday, June 4, 2009

20 years

Twenty years ago, it was 1989. At the time, I was a college junior, studying abroad-- first in Nice, France for a month-long présession, then in Fribourg, Switzerland for the better part of a calendar year. 1989 was also a year of world-changing events. June 4 is when the Tiananmen Square incident occurred. It's also the year that the Berlin Wall came down; I and a group of college friends went to Berlin a week after the wall fell. Finally, it's the year Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife lost control of their dictatorial stranglehold on Romania; they were captured after an uprising, and were summarily lined up against a wall and shot.

It's been said that Kim Jong Il has been very mindful of what happened in Romania, as he has no wish to share Ceaucescu's fate. I admit I wouldn't lose much sleep if he did. In the meantime, I hope he enjoys watching the West celebrate the 20th anniversaries of some of the signal events of the end of the 20th century.

For myself, I look back at my time in Switzerland-- one of the very best years of my life-- and wonder how different my life would have been had I known then what I know now, especially had I known what would be happening to Mom.


1 comment:

Charles said...

Not lose sleep? I would--because I would be up all night partying if the Dear Leader got his ticket.