You were everything I imagined a European city to be. I wandered through your cobble stoned lanes, taking in the sights and sounds around me. There were violinists playing pretty melodies and a group of musicians playing The Blue Danube. And then there was me in the middle of it all – wiping the sweat from the forehead and eating too many ice cream cones – and loving every second of it.
It’s hard for me to comprehend that if I were born 93 years ago in Dresden, I would be a 23-year-old watching my home – my city – crumble around me. Maybe I would have seen people I love die. Maybe I would have been the one who died. It’s just so hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that this beautiful city I fell in love with in one day was once a shattered mess of rocks and rumble.
But now, you stand tall and proud again, like a dignified grandparent who has seen the worst of life but still stands strong even if he or she has to use a cane. I think you are an inspiration. You are proof that people can tear you down but that they can’t keep you down. Thank you, Dresden, for teaching me what it means to be a survivor.
You know, in a way, cities are like people because they all have stories. Sometimes these stories are sad and sometimes they are happy – but I think you’ve shown us that just because your story may be sad, it doesn’t make you any less beautiful.