Story by A1C Valerie Seelye on 09/24/2019ETTELBRUCK, Luxembourg -- U.S. Air Force Airmen from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, Sept. 22, 2019.
American and Allied forces liberated the town in 1944, after nearly five years of enemy occupation. The day's celebration represented the freedom which was returned to citizens of Ettelbruck, and commemorated those who lost their lives during World War II.
Town leadership held ceremonies at the Lt. Gen. Patton Memorial and Patton Square in Ettelbruck. People viewed military-vehicle displays throughout the town, and local attendees dressed in WWII-themed military uniforms.
Spangdahlem AB leadership and local leaders attended the ceremonies and gave their remarks on the day's importance.
"Inviting us to join in commemorative events such as this makes us feel like part of the community," said Col. David Epperson, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. "We understand why our forces were here all those years ago, and why we are still here in this region today."
Airmen, members of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Civil Air Patrol from Spangdahlem AB, marched in a multi-national military parade through the town.
"When I saw the opportunity to honor those who made such a sacrifice, I knew this ceremony was important to attend and get others to participate," said 2nd Lt. Aaron Bradley, 52nd Maintenance Squadron officer in charge of munitions production, who marched in the parade.
Staff Sgt. Kamiyla Felder, 52nd MXS avionics intermediate systems craftsman, who also marched, said events like this help people remember the past.
"Had those men not fought 75 years ago," Felder said, "things may not be the way they are now. It is really important for people to share information and keep history alive."
The event mirrored Spangdahlem AB's ongoing relationship with allied partners.
"Spangdahlem's existence is a direct result of the end of WWII," Bradley said. "The Airmen serving here continue to provide European defense and security."