TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Some East Texans who served during the ‘"Cold War" between the Soviet Union and the United States reflected upon the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall Friday.
30 years ago on November 9th, 1989, the Berlin Wall could no longer hold East Germans back.
“The west and the east had been separated for most of my lifetime. I had grown up watching people trying to escape from East Germany and being shot, so I knew that when that wall came down all that changed,” said Marine Corps veteran Mike Park.
Monty Hudson of Longview, who trains PTSD dogs, was then stationed in Germany when it happened.
“I was in Germany with the first of the 39th infantry division, 8th army. We were called to formation and, the officer said something great happened today. The wall came down,” he said.
It started when East Germany lifted travel restrictions to the West.
What happened next, they couldn't stop.
Park, now a minister, was in the Marines at the time.
“I welcomed the opportunity for them to have just the basic freedoms that most of the people of the world experience. I’ll never forget when Ronald Reagan said, ‘Mister Gorbachev tear down this wall,’” Park said.
For those who served in the military during the Cold War, the decades of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States boiled down to its simplest terms - freedom against communism.
“It’s kind of a thing where World War II never ended. Because it went right back to that, the communist regime took over,” Hudson said.
The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place in October 1990.
“There was a victory that was won by the United States when East Germany became free,” Park said.
Historians note that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, marked the end of the Cold War.