Sky King ’15 – From what I have seen Germany is an amazing place. It breathes struggle and redemption, the infrastructure that was able to make it past World War 2 is full of pride while the architecture that has been created in wake of the destruction nurtures hope. I have always been amazed at the power and beauty of hope. I believe that is why I feel such a strong connection to the city of Frankfurt and the country of Germany. From the minute we stepped off the train at the Frankfurt station we have seen traces of past death and destruction. Traces of a war that tore away the flesh of the city just as it tore away the flesh from the German people until almost only bones remained.
The human condition is a difficult one and there exists much tragedy, but as the German population and cities have shown us, all we need is one more spark, one ounce of will and life will move forward. Germany has turned that spark into a wild forest fire that has spread throughout Europe. It went from hugely responsible in almost tearing Europe apart and now it is hugely responsible in pushing for a United Europe.
This speaks numbers to man’s strength and endurance. Germany is living proof that people can change; all they need is hope and opportunity. Frankfurt is a garden whose soil was tainted by evil and prejudice, but because of the purity of the river that runs through the city and cleanses its soil Frankfurt has blossomed.
This afternoon we traveled to the Money Museum where we saw currency from its birth in the form of cattle to its transition to numbers on a screen. One major focus was the significance of currencies stability and the stability of the Government it is attached to. Before I had the opportunity to see firsthand the culture of hope and strength that is Germany, I was unsure about the Euro. I was worried for the EU of the possibility of a Eurobond that would deepen the ties between the Union members. After walking the streets of Frankfurt and seeing the skeletons left behind from the war and the love of life that has risen from the graveyard I do not worry. Germany is strong and it is getting stronger. It is a country that has seen death, felt its grip, cold, hard and unforgiving, yet it has escaped. The resilience that Germany contains has given me faith to its ability to not only survive, but to excel. If I were a member state I would place my bet in this countries scarred, but strong hands.
I would like to thank the Rogge fund and Wabash College for the opportunity to walk the streets of this city that was born out of the ashes of destruction and learn from its livelihood the true power of humanity. What I have learned from this experience in the first two days of this trip will far outlive the knowledge I have gained from the semester long class. The lessons that we learn on these trips are ones that do so much more than teach us Econometrics or the ability to analyze poetry, they inspire us. Inspiration is a lesson that is often hard to come by, but always welcome and one of the most conducive gifts to progress and change.
Thank you and I look forward to the opportunity to continue growing throughout the remainder of this trip and my tenure at Wabash College.
In spreading the fame of her lovely name …