Panther Nation Publications Writing Team
Böblingen, Germany | December 6, 2019
30 Years Ago, this city was split in two, 30 years ago this country was divided in half, the whole world stood frozen. 30 Years Ago, that wall fell! Families long separated were reunited! A divided nation reunified! And the World could breathe easily once again! 30 Years Ago, we saw the triumph of peace…
The world has always had conflicts, it still does today, but tonight let’s celebrate humanity at its best… let’s remember that historic day 30 Years Ago, when that wall that had separated families, imprisoned an entire city, and symbolized the worst of humanity… was torn down, broken and beaten away into dust and into the pages of history. 30 Years Ago the rallying cry of the free world in the face of fear and chaos, was a simple one: “Ich bin ein Berliner” I am a Berliner… Today and every day after remember: “Wir sind Berliners” We are Berliners!
Geoffrey Morris ‘20, Aspiring Eagle Scout
Stuttgart Garrison’s Scout Troops, including 44, the Panzer Scout Troop, went up to Berlin for the weekend of November 8th, joining scouts from all across Europe to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Amidst the campfires, skits, and food, all of the troops explored the city on one of two historic trails. We went through the inner trail, hitting some of the best the city has to offer. We toured along where the Berlin Wall once stood, dividing the city that divided the world. We visited the Brandenburg Gate, The Berlin Airlift Memorial, Tempelhof Airport, The Empty Library in the Bebelplatz, the Great Synagogue, numerous cathedrals, some dating all the way back to Wilhelm I, Checkpoint Charlie, and the last standing section of the Berlin Wall.
At the end of the trail was the Holocaust Memorial, or as the German translation calls it the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It was a low basin covered in stone, with roughly 3000 large slabs of solid concrete slabs standing at different heights and angles. Every heavy step taken towards the center is on an incline, slowly but noticeably sloping down to the lowest point. Walking down one of the innumerable paths, you are flanked on both sides by row upon row upon row of grey stelae, gravestones for the lost. Each slab is completely unique, some weathered, and some almost polished. Children run around playing, having no idea of the significance of their hiding spots, while their parents walk out silent and stoic.
That same night our scouts performed several skits, songs, and a few dances at the closing campfire. Hosted by two of our very own Stuttgart Panthers, one current and one former, Geoffrey Morris and co-host Jacob Holmes. Opening with three dance numbers by Troop 44, “Cotton-Eye Joe”, “Footloose”, and Be A Man from Disney’s Mulan. After the dancing, the official opening ceremony began with a speech by Geoffrey Morris entitled “30-Years Ago” on the Fall of the Berlin Wall and humanity at its best. Geoffrey wanted to add that the speech was edited by yet another Panther Alumni, Geneva Barriger. The show went on with puns and shorts from all the attending troops with short intermission skits by the hosts, even a throwback to the Back Street Boys.
Coming back from the incredible experience, all of the adult leaders and scouts could agree, it was one of the best campouts that the Troop ever had. Here are just a few pictures from our photographers there, Geoffrey Morris, Abigail Fox, and Bridgid Owen.