Candles lighted the path in Heidelberg Castle through a receiving line and created an elegant ambiance worthy of the finely dressed attendees. After a warm greeting by the hosts, spouses and selected guests received a freshly cut rose that hinted of the exciting events to come.
"It is a privilege and honor to work and serve with each of you and your nations," said Lt. Gen. John W. Morgan III, Allied Force Command Heidelberg's commanding general. "Tonight is a night to celebrate the success of our nations, to sit back and to enjoy each other's company."
Lt. Gen. Morgan and Chief Warrant Officer Mark Saulnier, the command sergeant major each paid tribute to all the people that had made the night so special noting, in particular the great turn-out of noncommissioned officers and the organizers from the Forward Support Element.
In the grand dining room, guests took their places at tables filled with flowers, more candles, glasses and bottles of wine and sparkling water. The courteous staff served from a menu that included prosciutto, tortellini, beef and a delicious desert of fresh strawberries with white mousse.
The Commander and his wife opened the dance floor with the Happyness Voice and Brassband providing musical entertainment.
"It was fantastic altogether. I absolutely loved it," said Tanja Niks secretary of the NATO Spouse's Club. "The band was tremendous and professional. Every musical number was like the original. The mood was good and the reception on the terrace was like a beautiful summer island night."
Dancing, dining, and socializing continued well into the evening ending on a caution to travel home safe and enjoy the long weekend.
One spouse, Becky Riding, the mother of five children, described her evening. "It was so nice, the rose, the food, the music and not having to worry about anything. It was a lot of fun."