Politicians, veterans and members of the public gathered in Berlin on Sunday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift.
Berlin's mayor Michael Muller spoke at the ceremony that was held in front of the Berlin Airlift Monument at the entrance to the defunct Berlin Tempelhof airport.
«We are here together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of an excellent day of our... Еще history. On the 12 May 1949 the blockade of West Berlin made by the Soviet Union ended. For over two million people in West Berlin and for the Western allies the Soviet Blockade was faced with enormous challenges,» Muller said.
Among the invited guests of honour was 98-year-old US pilot Gail Halvorsen, who dropped hundreds of boxes of candy on tiny parachutes into West Berlin during the blockade.
«Today is a beautiful day, in spirit and in heaven. The weather was not so good during the airlift most of the time. But it's an honour to be here for those who gave their lives for the freedom of Berlin. Berlin is my second home,» he said during the ceremony.
The Berlin Airlift was organised by The Western Allies during the Cold War to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin from 24 June 1948 — 12 May 1949, during which time the railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control were blocked by the USSR.
Allied pilots flew a total of 278,000 flights to Berlin, carrying about 2.3 million tons of supplies.