USAG Wiesbaden participates in German National Day of Mourning ceremony

Lt. Col. Michael Zink (third from the right), Lord Mayor of Mainz Michael Ebling (third from left), representatives from the Bundeswehr and the National War Graves Association stand in front of the memorial at the Mainz cemetery for fallen Soldiers and civilian victims of wars and terror.

“It is important that even though we do not know the terrors of war ourselves, we have to keep up our awareness of it. It’s our job,” said Karla Glomb, a German 10th grader, who gave a serious and yet moving speech during a commemorative ceremony of the 65th German National Day of Mourning Nov. 19 at the Mainz cemetery.

The National Day of Mourning is celebrated annually across Germany to remember the victims of war and terror. Every year, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden sends representatives to the ceremonies in Mainz and Wiesbaden to place commemorative wreaths at the memorials for fallen Soldiers and civilian victims of war.

Deputy Garrison Commander Douglas Earle, along with two Soldiers, attend the National Day of Mourning ceremony at the Wiesbaden South cemetery.

Together with representatives of the German Bundeswehr, U.S. Army representatives participate in this event to support the union of all nations when it comes to standing up against terror, war and discrimination. In the face of the current wars, Wiesbaden City Council Chairwoman Christa Gabriel spoke of the fact that on one hand there was a deep yearning for peace and on the other hand, people seem to have learned nothing from the past. She called the European Union “first and foremost, a peace project for all Europeans.”

The ceremonies in Mainz and Wiesbaden concluded with walks through the cemeteries with stops at several memorials, such as the Jewish cemetery and the memorial site for the French soldiers who were killed during the occupation of Mainz between 1918 and 1930. In the end, each city’s lord mayor reminded guests it is the task of every generation to preserve peace for future generations.