On Thursday 29 June, the new American chargé d’affaires Kerri Hannan (on right) celebrated the 4th of July during a party at the US embassy. In the middle, Michael Bondi, an American veteran of the Second World War who was in Luxembourg on liberation day. On the left, Kristi Roberts, deputy chief of mission and political & economic officer.
Photo: US Embassy Luxembourg
New chargé d’affaires at US embassy throws 4th of July party
The US Embassy in Luxembourg was an array of red, white and blue on Thursday 30 June in celebration of America’s 241st year of independence.
Around 300 guests were scheduled to attend the annual 4th of July celebration and get the opportunity to meet the new chargé d’affaires, Kerri Hannan.
As guests arrived on the front lawn, they were met with the sound of Luxembourger Ben Konen and his jazz quintet playing American jazz to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first ever jazz recording.
Hannan, who arrived in Luxembourg less than a week ago, gave the opening remarks at the celebration. She and her wife Christina, along with their son Bodhi, will be posted at the embassy for the next three years and expressed their excitement to get to know more of Luxembourg.
“Just as the signers of the Declaration of Independence pledged their futures to a nation dedicated to liberty and the inalienable rights of its citizens, so too has the United States, along with her allies like Luxembourg,” Hannan said. “We have pledged to work together, to forge bonds of mutual understanding, respect, and shared democratic values that guide us in a constant quest for a future that is more just and peaceful.”
Hannan spoke about the “warm history” between the two nations, including the 5067 American soldiers buried here. She also acknowledged the attendance of Michael Bondi, a 96-year-old US WWII veteran who’s been living in Luxembourg for the last 30 years.
Bondi’s wife was originally from Esch/Alzette, but she moved to New York with him after getting married. After the two retired, Bondi proposed that they move back to Esch and live a more tranquil lifestyle. Bondi looks back on his life with a constant smile on his face.
“I’m just one of the luckiest soldiers,” Bondi said. “I was here for the liberation of Luxembourg on September 10, 1944.”
There was a constant line of people waiting to hear Bondi’s stories and thank him for his service, and he was happy to speak with all of them.
To Kaitlyn Cooper, an American student interning at the embassy, the event reminded her of home.
“Usually, my family and I go to a park and watch fireworks,” Cooper said. “This is so formal, but it’s cool to see the other ambassadors. It’s a fun experience.”
Throughout the evening, different American cuisine such as devilled eggs topped with bacon, cupcakes and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream were passed around and enjoyed by all.