Speed Reads

anniversaries

Germany celebrates 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall with balloon release, concert

To mark the fall of the Berlin Wall a quarter-century ago, tens of thousands of people went to events around the city over the weekend, including a "citizen's party" Sunday night at the Brandenburg Gate.

The Berlin State Orchestra played "Ode to Joy," Peter Gabriel performed, and 8,000 helium balloons were released. To match the height of the Berlin Wall, the balloons were attached to poles 3.6 meters (11' 9") high, and stretched for 9 miles. They were released one by one to symbolize protestors who breached the wall in 1989.

"We're the happiest people in the world and we're thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago," Berlin's mayor, Klaus Wowereit, said during the event. "Nothing and no one can stand in the way of freedom." --Catherine Garcia

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