***image1***The Federation of German-American Clubs celebrated this year’s German-American Day with approximately 300 guests in a festive ceremony Saturday at the Fruchthalle in Kaiserslautern. The federation of 31 clubs also awarded the Lucius-D.-Clay Medal for the 25th time.
Recipients were Klaus Rüter, former Undersecretary of the State of the Ministry of Interior and Sports in Rheinland-Pfalz and Dr. Luther Fredrick Carter, President of Francis Marion University, Florence, S.C. They both were awarded for their commitments to German-American friendship and their involvement in establishing an official partnership between the states of Rheinland-Pfalz and South Carolina.
During the opening speeches, Kaiserslautern’s Lord Mayor Bernhard Deubig mentioned it was a good idea to hold the German-American Day in Kaiserslautern, which is the home of approximately 48,000 U.S. military, civilians and family members.
“We have enjoyed very close relations with the German-American and International Women’s Club Kaiserslautern throughout our presence,” said Brig. Gen. Rosanne Bailey, 435th Air Base Wing and KMC commander. “Their commitment to promoting German-American friendship and the invaluable contributions to our common cause have never gone unnoticed.”
General Bailey also emphasized what an honor it is to support this special day with a performance by the U.S. Air Forces in Europe concert bands in the evening.
During the ceremony, the USAFE Five Star Brass and the Rittersberg Big Band provided the musical entertainment.
In the afternoon, Stefanie Mérai, President of the German-American and International Women’s Club Kaiserslautern, donated a sculpture to Thomas Zinssmeister, manager of the garden fair. The art piece called “Roots” was made by the local German artist Klaus Hartmann and the American artist Britta Cruz from Columbia, S.C. It is set up in the friendship garden of South Carolina. “This is our contribution to promote the relations between the two sister cities,” said Mrs. Merai.
The German-American Day dates back to Oct. 6, 1683, when the first German settlement in the United States, Germantown, Pa. was founded. During its 300th anniversary, President Ronald Reagan declared Oct. 6 as official German-American Day. With this event, the federation wants to bring the attention to the German-American friendship, honor the commitments of Americans in Germany and promote the relationship between the two countries. (Courtesy of Federation of German-American Clubs)