The capital of Germany marked the 70th anniversary of lifting the Berlin Blockade. It is considered one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, in June 1948, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control. The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche Mark from West Berlin.
For almost a year, American, British and French troops used Tempelhof airfield to drop the supplies for two million residents of the Western Berlin, which was seized by Soviet troops at the time.
DPA International quoted Mayor of Berlin Michael Mueller, who hosted the ceremony at Tempelhof. 'The air transport showed the people they were not left alone', the official stressed.
Gail Halvorsen, the 98-year-old American pilot and the living participant of that campaign, joined the ceremony as the residents of Berlin hailed him with the applause. Halvorsen was the first U.S. pilot to use his transport aircraft to drop the snack bars in Western Berlin.
The Soviet blockade held until May 12, 1949.