DORMAGEN, Germany - Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Europe, and German army and air force reservists commemorated the 75th anniversary of the advancement of U.S. forces into the town of Dormagen with local officials and residents on March 5, 2020.During World War II, the town was under the National Socialist rule for over a decade until the arrival of U.S. forces on March 5, 1945. On March 7th, the first democratic mayors were appointed in Dormagen.The public ceremony began with the opening of an exhibition at the city library. Dr. Stephen Schroder, the district historian, introduced the exhibit with a description of what took place in March of 1945 and students from the Bertha von Suttner Comprehensive School gave a theater performance about committing to peace.The ceremony continued with a formation of U.S. Soldiers, as well as German army and air force reservists, a prayer from local pastors and a joint-wreath laying outside of the Dormagen historical town hall.Bullet holes in the facade of the building from World War II are still preserved and a placard inside gives thanks to U.S. Soldiers from the 4th Cavalry Group for their efforts, as well as honors the dead and wounded."We have to keep the memory and learn our lessons, even if those who have experienced this time are often no longer with us," said Robert Krumbeim, a Dormagen city official, to attendees. "We have to commit to peace and tolerance."Krumbeim said the darkest times ended for the community of Dormagen 75 years ago and that the U.S. representation meant a lot to the people of the town.U.S. Army Sgt. Franzet Hernandez-Gonzalez and German air force reservist Staff Sgt. Stefan Schmitz carried a floral wreath adorned with a banner that read "Quietly remembering the victims of war and Nazi terror" and placed it out front of the town hall as locals looked on.Hernandez-Gonzalez said the warm reception and interactions with the people in Dormagen made her feel proud to represent the U.S. Army and lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the commemoration."Taking part in the ceremony was an opportunity to fulfill one of the purposes we are here, which is to support the alliance between the U.S. and Germany," she said.