US troops attend 60-year commemoration of Berlin Airlift in Wiesbaden

Some 10,000 people including US soldiers were at the Wiesbaden Garrison on Sunday commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift - one of the largest humanitarian undertakings of all time. Commander of the US Army garrison, Col. Ray Graham, said the role played by allied forces who organized the airlift set the stage for NATO and closer ties ever since. "Through the staunch resolve of the Western Allies, and the grit of the Berliners, the blockade was broken," Graham told a crowd including Germans, American soldiers and their families. "And along the way, the foundations were laid for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Federal Republic of Germany." With music playing and an air show at Sunday's event, participants remembered what has been regarded as one of the first and decisive battles of the Cold War. From June 26, 1948, to May 1949, the airlift carried food, medical and fuel supplies to some 2 million West Berliners cut off from the West by Soviet forces.