SFC (ret) Thomas Favia (USMLM 1989-1991)
The 4th ceremony since 2014 remembering Maj. Arthur Nicholson (USMLM 1982-1985), was once again, a truly special moment for the approximately 25 guests present. We honored both Maj. Nicholson and French MLM officer Adj Chef Mariotti, so that these men and their ultimate sacrifice may never be forgotten.
USMLM Association President, BG (Ret) Kevin Ryan (USMLM 1989-1991) was able to attend the event and gave his speech in German to the assembled German, American, and French attendees at the Major Nicholson Memorial site outside Ludwigslust. Once again, the German Army Command and Reservists of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern were amazing in all they did for us; not only in the preparation and execution of the ceremony, but the “Gastfreundschaft” which they constantly display in ensuring the we truly feel at home among brothers and comrades. Again, a very special “Thank You” to the German Army folks who took care of us and also arranged a visit to the Cold War Museum outside of Berlin on Saturday, and other activities, such as the Camaraderie Dinner on Saturday evening in the Officers Casino. A very special thanks goes to Mr. Bärbel Simon and her husband, curators of the Cold War Museum located near Kunsdorf, who made the visit to the museum on Saturday possible. The exhibition on the “Missions”, with the focus on the activities of the Stasi, against the Missions, was a special highlight for us, and in our estimation is unique among museum displays in Germany. Bernd Kostka represented the Allied Museum in Berlin. A special thanks also goes to the members of the German Army Reservist of Saarland, who along with myself, traveled over 1600 Kms in order to assist with and attend the ceremony; as they have been doing since 2014, when we began this wonderful tradition.
I would also like to thank Senior Airman Justin Stamps of the U.S. Air Force Europe Band, for traveling the great distance together with his wife, from Ramstein Air Base, in order to perform taps during the ceremony. It was a special moment that brought tears to many eyes. I want to give a special thanks to Hartmut Hausser from the German chapter of Bugles Across America, who has played at our ceremony before. He performed “Aux Morts” as part of the combined ceremony for Maj. Nicholson and Adj Chef Mariotti.
Finally, I want to personally thank all those, Military and Civilian, who attended the ceremony on Sunday morning at the site, many traveling great distances in order to honor these men. Thank you and God bless. Tom