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RAF hosts 100-year WWI remembrance service

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Royal Air Force airmen and women teamed with Coalition forces for a 100th anniversary Service of Remembrance at the Memorial Plaza here, Nov. 11, 2018.

The event provided an opportunity for service members and civilians to remember those who lost their lives during World War I and honor the heroic efforts, achievements and sacrifices made by veterans and fallen military members during past wars and conflicts.

“On the eleventh of November in 1918 the war ended at approximately 11 a.m.,” said Royal Air Force Reverend (Wing Commander) Ruth Hake, 83rd Expeditionary Air Group chaplain. “Traditionally in Europe and certainly in the United Kingdom we’ve held Remembrance Day services every year since.”

Approximately 250 military members from 15 nations came together to do just that, marching in a parade as part of a multinational formation. Eight of those nations laid a wreath in memoriam.

British Army Lance Cpl. James Allan recited The Kohima Epitaph, a verse recited during most U.K. Remembrance Day services. For Alan, taking time to celebrate the memory of those who came before him was an honor.  Being able to be a part of the service shoulder-to-shoulder with his Coalition partners made it that much more memorable.   

“Today I feel very proud because everyone has shown up to show remembrance to those who’ve fallen,” said Allan. “It’s so we don’t forget what those brave men and women sacrificed so that we can have what we have today. The fact that World War I was fought between many of the nationalities here today, and now we can do this parade together and honor those who died is just incredible.”

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dave Ranlet, who was part of the formation, remembered his great uncle, Dalton Ranlet, during the ceremony, who died fighting in World War I.

“The ceremony today had a real personal meaning,” said Ranlet. “As I looked up from the formation, I found the American Flag and I thought, ‘here I am, 100 years later since Dalton was in uniform, and all these nations are together honoring everyone.’ That was deeply personal and I was flattered and honored to be a part of it.”