June 19, 1997
For 85 years, Danes and Americans have come together on the hills of Rebild to celebrate America's Independence Day. The faithfulness with which this tradition has been observed is a testament to the deep friendship and profound goodwill between our two nations.
As we Americans celebrate the anniversary of our nation's birth, we give thanks not only for our enduring heritage of liberty under law, but also for the continuing expansion of democratic ideals around the globe. More than 200 years after our founders signed the Declaration of Independence, no political creed has proven to be more powerful than the simple statement :that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
When the United States won its independence, Denmark was one of the first countries to recognize our fledgling democracy. Today, Americans take great pride in our friendship with the people of Denmark, a country whose advocacy of human rights and democratic principles around the world is an eloquent affirmation of the values we share.
Best wishes for a memorable celebration.
The 4th of July's events for 1998 are just starting to fall in place. An agree-ment has been made with DR TV's and TV2's former correspondent in the USA, Samuel Rachlin, for him to be the Master of Ceremonies at the celebration in Rebild Bakker and at the concert in the evening on the 3rd of July in Aalborg Kongres- & Kulturcenter. Samuel Rachlin, who now is information chief for the World Bank in Washington and, from January 1. 1998, will be TV2's correspon-dent in Moscow, replaces Ulrich Ravnbøl, who stopped after the Rebild celebra-tion this year after 25 years as Master of Ceremonies for the Rebild Society.
The concert will be performed by the USAFE Band and the Prince's Life Regiment Music Corps from Viborg. The Danish musicians will be performing in the uniforms sewn for them on the occasion of Prince Joachim's and Princess Alexandra's wedding.
At the celebration in Bakkerne Denmark's loveliest choir will also perform - in other words Danmarks Radio's girls' choir under the leadership of Tage Mortensen. The choir has 40 members.
The Video on TV in the USA
In Co-operation with TV2 Nord and a producer at the station, Journalist Jens Harder Højberg, a Rebild video film of 28.30 minutes has been made. The film is intended for TV broadcasts in the USA and its length is adjusted to American television stations' broadcasting modules. The video consists of a number of glimpses of earlier Rebild Celebrations, which Jens Højberg has put together from the many 4th of July films in the TV2 archives, beginning with King Christian the X's participation in Rebild Bakker and up to our day. He has viewed 25 hours of Rebild Film.
In between the film clips with music, songs and speeches there are placed interviews with Rebild Society President Harald Nielsen and Mrs. Rudi Nielsen about, among other things, the Rebild idea, the Rebild Society, and why one should join the society.
At the founding general assembly in Chapter North the Rebild Society's president, Harald Nielsen, went to the rostrum to speak about, among other things, what is new in the society. There is, for example, a Benefactor Agree-ment, according to which the generous giver obligates him/-herself to pay 25,000 Dkr. a year for three years. Standing behind the rostrum Harald Nielsen signed, on behalf of his company, the first contract for a total of 75,000 Dkr.
Harald Nielsen also spoke about his wishes and efforts to make the Rebild Society larger and bigger, so that it can also attract younger members, who would be happy to participate. For this youth recruiting he also looked for a little help from the older members.
As the first foreigner, USA's Ambassador to Denmark, Edward E. Elson, has received the B.com. Association's (Merkonomforeningen) prize. It was presented by Minister of Finance Mogens Lykketoft during a ceremony in the Ambassador's official residence. The B.Com. prize is given to a person who has made a signifi-cant personal contribution to Danish industry. The prize is a work of art espe-cially executed for the recipient by a known Danish artist. Edward E. Elson received a painting by the artist Jesper Christiansen, who is one of the few Danish artists generally recognised in the USA; and who attended the presenta-tion. Jesper Christiansen is, at this time, preparing his third exhibition in New York.
As I left Rebild Bakker on the evening of the 5 July the rain poured down, so, although the wind was rough on the 4 July, I am extremely satisfied with the way this year's celebrations went in my first year as President. A huge and heartfelt thank-you to all who helped. Many worked very hard and then went quietly home, tired after the event. They have my biggest and warmest thanks, because without them there would be no celebrations.
There is much that can and must be improved, and this will be accomplished. The delightful, positive atmosphere at the Board Meeting and the Members Meeting has resulted in everyone now coming with suggestions and ideas, instead of recriminations and negative remarks. All are "playing on the same team" and the ultimate goal is: The next festival is going to be the best.
A big thank-you to the young people who had a fantastic sports day before, and a great debut on stage. Thanks too, and to our good friend "Klemme",
for ensuring that there was no trouble or disturbance. You did well.
Samuel Rachlin's debut as Master of Ceremonies was a first rate performance. We were as blown down away by his excellent language skills, as we were by the wind. We are looking forward to next year and preparations are already under way.
See you next year
Warmest greetings from Rebild
The traditional garden party hosted by the Danish-American Club's presidential couple, Inger and Egon Østergaard on the esta te "Østergaard", Gjøl, and the preliminary to the Rebild festivities, was blessed this year by lovely Danish summer weather. The sun shined warmly, and there was hardly a breeze; so there was a brisk turnover for a variety of beverages in "Østergaard"'s well-trimmed garden.
Here good friends met, and new friendships were made. There was conversation, music from Aalborg and the USA, and, perhaps a few, small agreements were settled.
Karen Ørbæk Larsson, from Vester Hassing, traveled in 1946, together with her mother, to the USA onboard the "Gripsholm" on the ship's first voyage after the war. Her mother's family emigrated to the USA in the years 1920 - 1938, and they were going to visit them. Since 1948 she has always been home and to the Rebild celebration in Bakkerne, but it was first at the Food Fair this year in Aalborg that she and her husband enrolled in the Rebild Society. - We have thought about it for many years, relates Egon Larsson, who is from Copenhagen, but it didn't happen until now.
Among the guests was also Helle Lyngaa, Aalborg, in a T-shirt with the Stars and Stripes and red and white striped socks. She had just become a member of the Rebild Society but has been a member of the Danish-American Club since she was a teenager. - I have been to the USA, and I have lived in England for five years; but, no matter where I was, I went home to Aalborg every year to take part in the 4. July festivities. We will take part in every thing this year, but I might take a break to see Denmark play Brazil in the world championship football tournament.
Corinne Thomas and her husband, university teacher Robert Thomas, had decided to visit Copenhagen and family in North Jutland this year, when they heard about the Rebild celebration of the American Independence Day the 4. July. Corinne Thomas is a member of the women's association the Soroptimists in El River Valley, Fortuna California, and she contacted Inger Winther Christensen in Aalborg, also a member of Soroptimists, and asked what the Rebild celebration was all about and so came to this year's festivities.
75 year-old Anker Juel Norre Nielsen - he was born on Christmas Eve - was on his "home ground", when he this year was at the garden party at "Østergaard" and the Rebild celebration. He is from Aggersund, where he got his technical training. He was accompanied by his wife, Kate Krage Nielsen, who is from Copenhagen and has lived in the USA since 1947. When Juel Nielsen emigrated in 1951, it was to Canada. The married couple got to know each other in the Danish Church and have, since 1960, lived in Torrance in the USA. Kate Krage Nielsen writes for the Danish newspaper in the USA, "Bien". The couple have, through the years, been in Denmark 12-13 times to take part in the Rebild celebration and visit family and friends, but it has been five years since the couple were last in Denmark. In the meantime Kate and Juel Nielsen have travelled to South America, Australia, Russia and Asia, from where they had just returned home.
Anny and Mogens Hempel, she from Frederikshavn, he from Copenhagen and cousin to the author, Helge Qvistorff, Skørping, celebrated their 41st anniversary during the Rebild festivities. They got to know each other through Danish friends in the USA. The couple have been members of the Rebild Society for 10 - 15 years, but this was their first time to the Rebild celebration. They were, however, in April, at the Society's annual meeting in Morristown. The 3. July the couple were accepted into Chr IV's Guild. As a native of Frederikshavn, Anny Hempel knows the Rebild Society's president, Harald Nielsen. They went to the same school. She was trained as a nurse and worked at a number of hospitals in Copenhagen and at Aalborg County Hospital, before she, in 1955, emigrated to the USA and travelled there with "Stavanger". Onboard there was also this year's "Mayor for a Day in Aalborg", Carlo Christensen, president of the Southern California Rebild Chapter. In the USA Anny continued her career as a nurse. Mogens Hempel has been employed in the office equipment business for many years and is still associated with his company.
Festive Rebild days in Aalborg and in Rebild are much more than the
celebration in Bakkerne. Chr. IV's Guild had the 2. July, the initiation
of crew members on the American Coast Guard ship "Tahoma"; the
3. July there were initiations for the Danish-American Club (picture)
and the 4. initiation for the Rebild Society of principal speakers and
other honored guests. The Aalborg Airbase had also this year made hangar
52 available for a carvery buffet, musical entertainment and danc ing.
In Kildepark and the gala party inside the dance group Lumiere and Oh
Contraire Perform ance Dance Team, Kentucky performed, and 2000- 3000
people defied wind and weather to see the outdoors entertainment. Later
they could warm themselves in the foyer of Aalborg Kongres- & Kultur
Center, where "Sigfreds Fodvarmere", Vardinghus, Lundby, Folke
and Malthe played. All the while torches illuminated Kildepark, and it
all concluded with fireworks, one of the rockets of which set fire to a
bird's nest in one of the park's high trees; which the fire department
had to extinguish.