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Germany

US, Germany Celebrate 60 Years of Berlin Airlift

The United States and Germany on Saturday celebrated the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Berlin Airlift with a flight show and a festival near Washington DC.

The Berlin airlift in 1948

Young Berliners waiting for US aid at the Tempelhof airport in 1948

"Together with the Marshall Plan and the millions of Care packages the unique efforts of the Berlin airlift laid the basis for the enduring friendship between Germans and Americans," Germany's ambassador to the United States, Klaus Scharioth said.

The Blue Angels air acrobats wrote the words "Friends Always" in the sky over Andrews Air Force base outside Washington where the festivities took place.

The Berlin airlift was the largest campaign to transport food and goods into the area blockaded by the Soviet Union.

From June 26, 1948 to May 12, 1949 some 2.5 million people were supplied exclusively by air after the Soviets attempted to force the Western powers out of West Berlin blocking all land routes into the territory located more than 100 kilometers deep inside eastern Germany.

The US air force this year remembered the 60th anniversary by dedicating its annual air show, which tens of thousands of people visit each year, to the event.

The high point of this year's celebration was the participation of "candy bombers" - the nickname given to the American planes because they would drop candies to Berlin's youngsters as they flew in to deliver aid to the city.

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