Photo Story: Celebrations Of the 25-th Anniversary Of the Fall Of the Berlin Wall

Festivities to mark the 25-th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall drew more than 1 million Berliners and visitors from all over to the heart of the once-divided city.

Solidarity movement leader and later Polish President Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev - the last leader of the Soviet Union - and other figures credited with an international role in bringing down the wall and helping reunite Germany joined Wowereit, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck.

Fireworks and an Udo Lindenberg concert closed festivities, a 15-kilometer  string of 7000 helium balloons stole the show, coursing the path of the barrier that had divided the city from 1961 to 1989.

Germans freed the balloons one after another to symbolize the breaching of the barbed-wire and concrete-block wall by crowds of protesters on that distant November 9.

Meantime, the Berlin Staatskapelle orchestra played "Ode to Joy," the anthem of the European Union, from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

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

 

 

1 of 18 | November 10, 2014, Monday EPA/BGNES

A woman plays with balloon awaiting the release of balloons into the sky along the former path of the Berlin Wall in Berlin. Germany launched its celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall when it switched on a 15-km `Border

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