No brainer, top of the chart! That’s the phase that first comes to my mind in how I’d distinguish the ranking of The Great Wall of China as compared to other historical, geographical, and key landmarks around our globe. Like many, it was an aspiration of mine to one day have the great fortune to experience being on The Great Wall. Today, that happened as our NCISC group left early this morning for the nearly two-hour mini-bus drive up the mountain to The Great Wall of China – Badaling. The Badaling section of The Great Wall is frequently recognized as the most revered section and in fact it is described as a “cultural relic of mankind” and one of the “new Seven Wonders of the World”. Based on my experience, I couldn’t agree more.
From Google Earth and other photographs, whether from up close or far off from space, as awesome as it may look in a picture or on a screen, it’s not until you physically put one foot after another and follow the footsteps of past generations that you can fully appreciate the significance and place in history the The Great Wall has earned over the past two thousand years.
As I reflect on my walk up to the 8th Tower, the highest point on the Badaling section, each and every stone beneath my feet is just like each and every person who has ever made this journey. While we are all part of a much bigger picture, each of us, like each stone, has our own unique characteristics and story. Over thousands of years and many dynasties, The Great Wall has been a source of profound pride by the Chinese people and for good cause, it is a breathtaking tribute to the rich ancestry and resiliency of the Chinese people.