Monday, December 19, 2011

Vaclav Havel, RIP

Vaclav Havel was one of the great men of the 20th Century. Like Nelson Mandela, he was jailed by the regime that he eventually replaced. He cared deeply for his country and the world.

Last night, I went with Blanka to light candles for Havel at Narodni Trida, the memorial to the Velvet Revolution that toppled Communism in Czechoslovakia. We walked around the old part of the city, and enjoyed the sites of the Christmas Market in Old Town Square. We eventually wound up in Wenceslas Square, another important site in the history of Havel and the Velvet Revolution. There, the statue of St. Vaclav had been turned into another candle draped memorial. I tried to explain to some French tourists what was going on, why students were reading from Havel's essays to the crowd. We lit another candle and returned home.

Remember him. He mattered.