MIAMI (CBSMiami) — A part of history is on display in Miami.
A section of the Berlin Wall is being unveiled in Florida, 25 years after it came down. It was a gift from Germany to Miami and is installed at Miami Dade College’s downtown campus.
Michael Winograd came to see the wall which is 12 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and weighs four and a half tons.
“This is the opportunity to see the defeat of the tyranny of communism, the tyranny of facism,” Winograd said.
The Berlin Wall came down Nov. 9, 1989, heralding not just the reunification of East and West Berlin, and East and West Germany, but the eventual fall of the USSR and the Iron Curtain.
Susan Peterson was teaching in West Germany in the 1960’s.
“It’s a really wonderful thing you can have this here,” Peterson said. “I used to go places where there was a lake and in the middle there’d be barbed wire… You’d go out for a walk in the park and there would be the wall and there would be people talking on the other side.”
It was a time when people risked and lost their lives trying to reach freedom.
“It happened often when I was there. They would try to climb over and they were machine gunned to death; sometimes they were left bleeding until they bled to death. Nobody could rescue them. It was really horrible, but nevertheless they kept trying,” Peterson added.
It’s a struggle, many people in Miami understand.
“The people who come from Miami come from so many different backgrounds that are based in repressive regimes,” said Winograd.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado joined other local dignitaries and the German consul general in Miami to celebrate the anniversary Sunday.
“There are still walls between Miami and other countries,” said Regalado. “A wall of water between Miami and Cuba, a wall of ocean between Miami and Venezuela.”
A quarter century after the Berlin wall came down, leaders from Miami and Germany hope this small segment of the once dividing wall will spread a message of hope and unity.
“Freedom can be achieved walls can be torn down,” Regalado added.
“Freedom and democracy are possible if we join forces and come together and look at what we are aiming for,” added Jurgen Borsch, the Consul General of Germany. “Freedom democracy and a peaceful world.”
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