BERLIN – Ulrich Sauff and his wife stared at the mammoth domino pieces marking the path where the Berlin Wall once stood and reminisced about life in the barrier's shadow.
"It was like a prison," said Mr. Sauff, 73, who lived on the Western side of the wall. "For us 'Wessis,' the few kilometers from our old home to our new home (in the East) was unthinkable."
The Sauffs were among those who gathered Monday to celebrate 20 years of unity, marking the day the wall came down. Thousands cheered as 1,000 colorfully decorated dominoes along a mile-long route were toppled to symbolize both the moment the wall came crashing down and the resulting fall of communist countries in Eastern Europe.
It was the finale to a day of memorial services, speeches and events that attracted leaders from around the world, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Merkel and 78-year-old Gorbachev stood shoulder to shoulder as they crossed a former fortified border crossing point between East and West Berlin to cheers of "Gorby! Gorby!" bring this up to the first reference to gorby.