Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was strictly optional. Most of the heroes of 1989 were middle-aged. The leaders of the velvet revolutions, the Vaclav Havels and Lech Walesas, had been through prison, tough times and many a defeat before this incredible victory. Sure, there were often students in the front line — blithe, unattached, unafraid; but what was most moving to me, as I talked to people in the crowds in Leipzig, Gdansk or Prague, were the older men and women who had endured so much and never believed they would see this day. Women who for 28 years had never even set foot on the other end of their own street, because the Berlin Wall cut across it. Men like the East Berlin porter who told me: ‘Now people are standing up straight.