Luxembourg’s National Day celebration in Washington DC

Jean-Louis Wolzfeld

Luxembourg’s National Day was celebrated in Washington DC at the Luxembourg Embassy by way of a reception for invited guests; the event also served as a farewell to Luxembourg’s Ambassador, Jean-Louis Wolzfeld, who is leaving his post later this year.

In his remarks, Ambassador Wolzfeld discussed the long history of friendship between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the United States. He talked about the famous Battle of the Bulge and General George S Patton’s burial in Luxembourg. He expressed gratitude and thanks to the friends and supporters of Luxembourg for their friendship and co-operation during his tenure which is ending shortly.

Luxembourg's National Day celebration in Washington DC

On the eve of the referendum about the United Kingdom’s participation in the European Union, Brexit was a topic of discussion among many conversations among the participants at the event – and across the town that evening. The National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast its report from Luxembourg a few days earlier on 20 June and, to highlight Luxembourg’s role in the European Union, NPR’s Robert Siegel went to Luxembourg about “how the European Union works at its best.”

“Our history, in fact, is what determines how we see Europe,” Ambassador Jean-Louis Wolzfeld had stated. “We have spent the last centuries between two big land neighbours who were never friends… The European project has given us for the first time, I think, in Europe’s history, 70 years of peace.”

Among the diplomats joining the National Day was H.E. Edward Rowell, former US Ambassador to Luxembourg, H.E. Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France, H.E. Ambassador Domingos Fezal Vital, Ambassador of Portugal, as well ambassadors of many EU and countries around the world. Lawrence Dunham Esq, Board Member, International Students House and former U.S. Assistant Chief of Protocol, also attended with his wife.

Luxembourg's National Day celebration in Washington DC

Luxembourg’s important role in the EU and the international community was underscored by the diversity of the participants in this special event. Dr. Amela Hubic, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund, Deborah Sigmund, Innocents at Risk Founder, and Frederica Dunn and Patricia Sherr, National Press Club members, also participated in the event. Dr. L.R. Poos, Professor of History and former Dean at the Catholic University of America, also participated in this historic event with his wife. Dr. Poos who is also the author of “A Rural Society after the Black Death: Essex 1350-1525” shared his family Luxembourgish family history with friends.

Pauline Marc, an aspiring diplomat and Luxembourg Embassy intern, shared her educational experiences at the Kings College London and the education system in Luxembourg which allowed her to speak perfect English, almost with a Londoner’s accent. In particular, she spoke about the learning experiences under the guidance of Deputy Chief of Mission Olivier Baldauff whose suggestions about the seminars and organisations in Washington has provided the kind of training needed for the next generation of Luxembourg’s future diplomats.

Chef Nando Chiarelli proudly displayed a medal on his chest for his thirty years of service at the Luxembourg Embassy. The Chef and his wife mingled with the guests.

The embassy staff extended a warm welcome to the guests as they entered the beautiful embassy building in the diplomatic section of Washington DC, with Ambassador Wolzfeld and Deputy Chief of Mission, Olivier Baldauff, greeting the guests personally. Ms. Elisabeth Herndler and the Luxembourg Embassy’s staff made Luxembourg’s friends in Washington feel at home. The Luxembourg National Day was once again an opportunity for Ambassador Wolzfeld and his staff to strengthen the friendly ties with the diplomatic corps, artists and the business community.