Turkeys and bulls at Amcham Thanksgiving bash

Guests reflected on the many reason to be thankful when they attended the 2019 Amcham Thanksgiving dinner given on Friday at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Dommeldange.

The finance minister and American ambassador’s lively speeches at the sold-out event gave pause for thought on how friendship and understannding have ensured peace and prosperity in the grand duchy.

Finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP), who was awarded a crystal Swarovski bull by Amcham in recognition of his efforts and those of his team to assist business activities, stressed that it was people who made a difference.

Of the diplomatic corps members in attendance, he drew attention to Guy de Muyser, 93, who he described as “the father of Luxembourg diplomacy”.

“Guy de Muyser joined the foreign service in the 1950s. You can see in many places he’s a living legend of what diplomacy can do in the east and the west. Again, I think this is very much what thanksgiving is about- people who make a difference. Thank you Guy, for what you’ve done,” Gramegna said.

US ambassador Randy Evans reflected on what he had achieved for US-Luxembourg relations in the past year. He joked that no-one had taken him seriously when, at the 2018 Thanksgiving dinner, he’d cited his plans for 2019. His team’s achievements include signing a MoU with Luxembourg on space matters, the ratification of the tax treaty and an MoU for cost-sharing at the Sanem storage facility, which he described as “truly historic”.

The dinner came ahead of the 75th anniversary commemorations for the Battle of the Bulge, a bloody counter attack by German forces in which the British and American militaries played a critical role. “Some 20,000 paid the ultimate sacrifice but routinely as I travel the country, many Luxembourgers come and remind me of Luxembourg’s gratitude for what we did and what we did was in the interests of freedom,” ambassador Evans said.

He urged the 200 or so people who attended the meal to participate in the 16 December commemorations.