Monday, October 10, 2011

Sad Week in Munich

Outdoor Market

Residence Complex of the Wittelsbach

Deutsche Museum

Impromptu Shrine

Munich Town Hall

9/11 Memorial Service

In 1972, from late August to early September, Munich was the host of the 10th Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, the "Happy Games" as the organizers wanted it to be known, did not turn out to be happy.

On September 5th, the Black September, a Palestinian group took Israeli athletes and coaches in the Olympic village as hostages. Eleven athletes and coaches eventually died in that incident.

Nineteen years later, a week in September 2001, Munich was in a sombre mood once again. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on 9/11 must have brought painful memories to the city.

The day I got into Munich, there was a noon time memorial service at the Munich town hall (Rathaus) on Marienplatz for the victims of the New York attack . On stage in front of the town hall, a few prayers were said and a band played a different tune from beer fest favourites.

Children relighting candles on church steps and arranging flowers strewn around makeshift memorials are usually not on any tourist's must see. For that time though, there was something that gave Munich a little something. Maybe not the "happy" it wanted in the games two decades ago but something a little uplifting.