Thursday, July 9, 2009

Berlin Airlift “Friends Always”

Germany and the U.S. commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the

Berlin Airlift

The years 2008 and 2009 mark the 60th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, one of the most important dates in the history of U.S.-German friendship. The German Embassy has made the commemoration of the Berlin Airlift a focus of its outreach activities. Their motto for the 60th Anniversary is: “Friends Always”.

In 1948, the Soviets blocked the western portion of Berlin. In response, the U.S. and her Allies took to the skies flying in provisions for West Berlin’s over 2 million residents, an effort that grew into the Luftbrücke – an unending conveyor belt of planes landing at Tempelhof Airport. “The Airlift is considered one of the greatest humanitarian actions of all times. It is almost unbelievable that the United States and her Allies were able to sustain the city of Berlin for 322 days (…)”, says Klaus Scharioth, German ambassador to the United States.

During the Airlift, the aircraft supplied the city with 700 tons a day in June 1948 to 12,940 tons daily by April 1949. On May 12, 1949 the Soviets finally gave in and reopened land and water routes into Berlin. Airlift missions finally ended in late September 1949.

Through August to September of 2009, the “Friends Always” travelling exhibit titled “The Berlin Airlift – A Legacy of Friendship” will be on display in the State of Indiana at following locations:

August 5 – 16: Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis

(Opening reception at 12:00 pm on 5th of August, 2009)

August 21 – Columbus Learning Center, Columbus, IN

September 5: (Opening reception at 12:00 pm on 21st of August, 2009)

Sept. 12: Open House / Fly-in at

Commemorative Air Force (CAF), Indiana Wing

Indianapolis Executive Airport, Zionsville

(Symposium dinner at 6:30 pm on 11th of September, 2009)

More information on the “Friends Always” campaign in general:

More information on the “Friends Always” travelling exhibit in Indiana: Mr. Martin Baier at

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