The participants placed wreaths on a memorial stone and held a moment of silence on the skirts of Ramstein.
“August 28, 1988 is burned into the collective consciousness of many people,” said Rhineland Palatinate Interior Minister Karl Peter Bruch during the ceremony, which also included representatives of the U.S. and Italian military.
Seventy people were killed and more than 450 were injured when three Italian fighter planes collided while performing in the show. One of the planes, in flames, spun into a field of spectators in what remains one of the worst airplane-related disasters in modern Germany.
After gathering at the memorial, the attendees later moved onto the actual site of the catastrophe for another moment of silence at the exact moment of the accident – 3:44 p.m.
The government of Rhineland-Palatinate also commemorated the event on Wednesday with a moment of silence in parliament.
The memorial will conclude Thursday evening with services at the St. Nikolaus church on Ramstein air base.