November 9, 2014 10:03 PM EST

The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was marked by the release of 8,000 helium balloons over the German capital.

The Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 to prevent people fleeing the Soviet-controlled East into the more free and affluent West.

Its fall in 1989 was a symbolic start to the process that would eventually end the Cold War.

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