The 75th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift is being celebrated this year. There was a gathering in June with many Halvorsen family members and German officials. All five Halvorsens and their spouses were there.
The following was shared by a German man named Hans Malzi about some of the events that took place in Germany in June:
Halvorsen’s daughter, Denise Williams, shared the following about the trip to Germany:
We arrived on June 20, and part of our group went to a playground with a mural of our father, Gail Halvorsen. My husband, David and I went to the wonderful old German city of Nierderau—Windecken.
There we met Ralf Grünke, Christine Feuerbach (journalist) and Clark (Intern for Ralf). We walked to Mayor Andreas Bär’s office and enjoyed meeting with him very much. It was really wonderful to be in this picturesque old German town, to see the Fachwerk homes, and to have Ralf explain many historical things to us. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Landgasthof in the town with more friends from the Luftbrücke association and also all of the Halvorsen siblings. This was very nice and we all enjoyed our trip to this wonderful town. We wish to give Ralf a very big “thank you” for showing us Windecken and giving us so much historical background. We loved our visit! We are very grateful.
Another highlight of our trip was the ceremony on June 21 at the Luftbrücke Denkmal at Frankfurt near the airport. The Stadtskanzlerei created a wonderful program. We enjoyed being there with Ministerpräsident Rhein of the state of Hessen, Dr. Schulte (Fraport), US GK General Scharpf, representative from Great Britain, from France, Herr Rättig, the honor guard and the other dignitaries. The laying of the beautiful wreaths was very moving to me.
The program was wonderful—all the speakers spoke beautifully about the principles learned from the Airlift and how they still apply today. We loved the music of the USAF band. There was a good representation of interested groups, and there were four chaplains of different faiths who spoke—some even sang. It was very heart-warming to me to hear them pray. It was great that the 14 students, principal and two teachers from the Halvorsen Schule in Berlin were there, and that they were also Ukrainian. Our family met new and old friends and it was a joyous time. We wanted to be there to honor our father and his contribution and the contributions of others who served in the Berlin Airlift and who gave their lives.