By Spc. Paul A. Holston/XVIII Abn. Corps PAONovember 30, 2012
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Servicemembers and special guests observed a memorial commemorating eight prisoner of war German soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country during World War I and World War II at Fort Bragg's main post cemetery Nov. 7.
The service started with the presentation of the colors from Soldiers of the 82nd Sustainment Brigade, followed by a speech from Lt. Col. Andreas Wiechert, German army liaison officer attached to XVIII Airborne Corps.
"During the month of November, people all over Germany pause to remember these soldiers," said Wiechert. "The main reason we are gathered here today is to honor the lives of the fallen."
Wiechert said this was the eleventh time German soldiers have been commemorated at the post cemetery.
"Your attendance symbolizes the strong bond and friendship between our countries and it is a tribute to those who lost their lives in service for their country," he said.
After his speech, German soldiers laid a wreath on a tombstone in front of the American and German colors, paying respects to those who sacrificed their lives. Also in attendance were U.S. and Canadian Soldiers.
"We stand together as allies and friends and have done so for more than 60 years," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Eyre, deputy commanding general, Operations, XVIII Abn. Corps.
"A better peace has been built, one that needs to shine as an example for all the conflicts currently raging around the globe. Our duty now is to remember those who have sacrificed so much so we can have that better peace, and in doing so, we must continue to learn from them," he said.
"It was a privilege to be invited to this ceremony," said Maj. Gen. Glenn Lesniak, deputy commanding general, Support, U.S. Army Reserve Command.
"This brought special meaning to me as I have toured Germany a few times during my career. We should always show our respects to these fallen soldiers," he said.
"Events like this show how great the relationship between Germany and the U.S. has developed from enemies to allies," said Wiechert.
"We understand that those who have made the ultimate sacrifice should always be honored and never forgotten. No event could show it better than this."