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Youths from flashpoint areas across Belfast gather at the gates of the peaceline on Lanark Way, west Belfast, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Youths from flashpoint areas across Belfast gather at the gates of the peaceline on Lanark Way, west Belfast, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Paul Faith

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

Andreas Rentz

People stand by giant, painted styrofoam dominoes in front of  the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

People stand by giant, painted styrofoam dominoes in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen after falling in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen after falling in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall fall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. Writing on the screens reads "Freedom".

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall fall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. Writing on the screens reads "Freedom".

Herbert Knosowski

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks in front of a screen during a video message of U.S. President Barack Obama at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks in front of a screen during a video message of U.S. President Barack Obama at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Markus Schreiber

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall lay on the ground after falling in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Dominoes symbolizing the Berlin Wall lay on the ground after falling in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Herbert Knosowski

An man clad as angel stands on a building next to the former border in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

An man clad as angel stands on a building next to the former border in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Eckehard Schulz

A visitor holds up a young woman to peek over the edge of a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall into the so-called "death strip," where East German border guards had the order to shoot anyone attempting to flee into West Berlin, at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

A visitor holds up a young woman to peek over the edge of a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall into the so-called "death strip," where East German border guards had the order to shoot anyone attempting to flee into West Berlin, at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Sean Gallup

The trumpeter Elisabeth Gabriel (75) plays at a commemorative ceremony at a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

The trumpeter Elisabeth Gabriel (75) plays at a commemorative ceremony at a still-existing section of the Berlin Wall at the Bernauer Strasse memorial on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Carsten Koall

A woman dressed as angel waves from a roof top near the German Reichstag, lower House of Parliament, on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

A woman dressed as angel waves from a roof top near the German Reichstag, lower House of Parliament, on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Andreas Rentz

Giant painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of  the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Giant painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler  attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pool

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler, Berlin's Major Klaus Wowereit and U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German President Horst Koehler, Berlin's Major Klaus Wowereit and U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton attend the celebrations for the fall of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pool

Children huddling under plastic tarps and umbrellas wave sparklers during celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

Children huddling under plastic tarps and umbrellas wave sparklers during celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

Sean Gallup

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, center, signs autographs for a boy as Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, right, looks on while crossing the Bornholmer Bruecke, Bornholm bridge in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. The Bornholm bridge used to be a border crossing between East and West Berlin in 1989.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, center, signs autographs for a boy as Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit, right, looks on while crossing the Bornholmer Bruecke, Bornholm bridge in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989. The Bornholm bridge used to be a border crossing between East and West Berlin in 1989.

Herbert Knosowski

The illuminated Brandenburg Gate is seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

The illuminated Brandenburg Gate is seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

Polish young people paint plastic foam replicas of parts of the Berlin Wall in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, and of the unification of Germany. The anniversary event was  organized by the German Embassy and Robert Schuman Foundation that promotes European integration

Polish young people paint plastic foam replicas of parts of the Berlin Wall in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, and of the unification of Germany. The anniversary event was organized by the German Embassy and Robert Schuman Foundation that promotes European integration

Czarek Sokolowski

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate are seen in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, and will be made to fall in a symbolic act during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown delivers a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Michael Sohn

Fireworks illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fireworks illuminate the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

WOLFGANG RATTAY

U.S. President Barack Obama is seen on screens during a video message at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

U.S. President Barack Obama is seen on screens during a video message at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Markus Schreiber

Fireworks are see at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Fireworks are see at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Michael Sohn

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

A couple from Barcelona photograph themselves in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the conclusion of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

A couple from Barcelona photograph themselves in front of the Brandenburg Gate at the conclusion of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is celebrating the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with an event that includes the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes to symbolize the fall of the Wall.

Sean Gallup

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

The giant, painted styrofoam dominoes lay on the ground in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The giant, painted styrofoam dominoes lay on the ground in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Fireworks expolde at the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Fireworks expolde at the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes stand along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes stand along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Pool

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Giant, painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of  the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Giant, painted styrofoam dominoes are pictured in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Miguel Villagran

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firework along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firework along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firewotk along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Spectators watch as giant, painted styrofoam dominoes topple and a firewotk along the route of the former Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. The approximately 1,000 dominoes, painted by schoolchildren and artists all over the world, are meant to symbolically represent the end of communist rule across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of celebrations in the German capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Andreas Rentz

Spectators with umbrellas wait on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall next to the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Spectators with umbrellas wait on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall next to the Brandenburg Gate on November 9, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.The city of Berlin is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, which led to the end of communist rule in East Germany and later on the reunification of East and West Germany, with a spectacular event at the Brandenburg Gate and the participation of international leaders.

Miguel Villagran

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Giant dominos placed along the former border in front of the Brandenburg Gate fall in a symbolic act in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, during the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov.9, 1989.

Gero Breloer

A man hammers away at the Berlin Wall on Nov. 12, 1989 as the border barrier between East and West Germany was torn down after 28 years, symbolically ending the Cold War.

A man hammers away at the Berlin Wall on Nov. 12, 1989 as the border barrier between East and West Germany was torn down after 28 years, symbolically ending the Cold War.

JOHN GAPS III

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Youths from flashpoint areas across Belfast gather at the gates of the peaceline on Lanark Way, west Belfast, to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The irony was obvious and palpable — and it hung heavily in the air on a chilly November night. There may still be divisions in this country, but last night a group of local children bridged theirs to help mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Over 60 young Catholics and Protestants from flashpoint areas gathered at the gates of a west Belfast peaceline to beat the drum – and other instruments — for peace.

Fittingly, and symbolically, the musical workshop was held in the shadow of the city’s largest barrier which runs between Northumberland Street and Lanark Way and divides the Catholic Falls from the Protestant Shankill.

With its greyness and graffiti, the wall bears more than a passing resemblance to its infamous, feared and now felled German counterpart.

But most of the kids who participated in last night’s event weren’t even born when the Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989 after more than a quarter of a century.

To them it’s a mere figment of history, not something you know but something you might Google out of curiosity.

In Belfast, however, there are 80 or so permanent barriers dividing loyalist and nationalist areas — a present-day, tangible, concrete reality and a depressing symbol of the conflict that has blighted our history, especially over the last four decades. It would be perfectly understandable if those young people of divided Belfast asked this communal question: if the world’s two superpowers can come together to end the necessity for physical division, then why can’t specific communities in parts of Northern Ireland?

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Niamh McEvoy (15), from St Genevieve’s High School, said it was important for ‘the two sides’ to get together.

“Twenty years on I think it brings great inspiration to others across the world to show that people can survive past conflict and bring down barriers, literally or figuratively, and bring equality into everyone’s lives,” Niamh said.

“Northern Ireland is one of the communities in history that has really severe violence, and I think us Belfast people need to look for balance and take a step back and bring equality to prejudice.”

Her friend Tania Devlin, also aged 15, agreed that it was time to move forward.

“All the violence is over now, and we just want to get past it and everybody is really wanting it to happen,” she said.

Paradoxically, the number of so-called peace walls separating communities in Greater Belfast has trebled since the IRA and loyalist ceasefires, according to a report by the Community Relations Council (CRC).

In 1994 there were 26. Now there are 80.

Event organiser and community relations manager for Youthlink, John Peacock, said last night’s event formed part of the Up Against The Wall project.

“Over the last six months we’ve been giving young people a voice about what they think about peace walls in their area and to allow them to have a conversation about the future of peace walls,” he said.

“So, on the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, we wanted to highlight how sad it is that there are still walls going up here in Belfast.”

Today those walls will once again be silent and deserted — save for a smattering of curious tourists wondering why, in a modern European city in 2009, there are people who still feel the need for physical separation.


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