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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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July 8, 2013

Beauty and Decay

by Marissa Costello

“There can be no true beauty without decay.” I find this statement by Montague H. Withnail to be quite sad in that, this is our reality. Sometimes the most broken or unintentional creations have beauty.

Piece of Berlin Wall at UNWhen taking a tour around the United Nations I saw a fraction of the Berlin Wall that stood high in the garden by the East River. The exterior is covered in graffiti and numerous pieces of artwork.

The significance of this wall is immense. It separated families permanently and restricted travel until 1989. It means so much more than that. The fact that a piece of the Wall can be displayed means the end of the Cold War. It represents the United States’ animosity towards communist nations spreading their ideology and the end of the oppressive Soviet regime that led East Germany into economic turmoil. While this wall represents a historic event in history both dismal yet joyful, it's apparent from the photo I took that, today, some people just consider it a good resting place.

After taking a tour around the United Nations and seeing pieces of history such as the Berlin Wall and a statue of St. Agnes that survived the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, I see such beauty in the world around me because to me these relics represent enduring the struggles of oppression and war, a remembrance of our past that we must never forget and never replicate, and hope for our ability to change.

Categories: United Nations

Tags: beauty, berlin wall, change, hope, impermanence, nagasaki, st. agnas

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