But the faces on either side were the same.
On November 9th, 1989, East Germany's communist leaders...under pressure to ease travel restrictions...sent a spokesman to brief reporters on a new policy...allowing travel between East and West in the future. He mistakenly announced the new rules would take effect immediately. Hundreds of thousands descended on the border crossings. And the overwhelmed guards simply lifted the gates.
It would take months for the wall to be demolished...and years for the former soviet republics to build new governments.
But for those reunited with lost brothers, parents and cousins on the other side...it only took a moment to realize no one could build a wall around their hearts.
That's a page from my notebook.
I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.
© 2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.