This year, the Embassy of Denmark in Washington D.C. decided to use its annual Christmas reception, Creative Christmas, to honor the sacrifice made by men and women in uniform in conflicts where Denmark and the US have been engaged in a common effort, underpinning the strong transatlantic alliance. Creative Christmas is an annual Public Diplomacy event attracting 800+ guests, representing the Embassy’s vast network in Washington, DC.
Many companies from the American-Danish Business Council attended and sponsored the event. ADBC Sponsors included: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Systematic, Terma, Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, and Harris.
Besides two evenings of food and music, the event resulted in the donation of gift cards and 650 books for veterans and wounded warriors. The total value of the donations was close to $20,000 (DKK120.000). In addition to the gift cards and donated books, the author Alison Buckholtz donated copies of her book Standing By and other books were donated by Tarcher Books and MilitaryFamilyBooks.com
Veterans and wounded warriors from both Denmark and the United States were invited to take part in the event. During the reception guests were invited to write a ‘thank you’ note to active servicemen and women and hang them on the ‘honor wall’ provided by the partnering organization Blue Star Families.
In the residence guests enjoyed traditional Danish Christmas food and on display were homemade Danish ‘Christmas Hearts’ created by Danish families, embassy staff and the Danish School of Washington D.C. The ‘Christmas Hearts’ together with all donated gift cards and books will be given to veteran’s families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a sign of our gratitude for their sacrifice.
The four participating Danish veterans from Denmark were: Jens Fjordbak Søndergaard, Claus Søgaard Jensen, Mark Ingmann Peters and Jacob Panton Kristiansen.
The veterans had an eventful week in Washington, D.C. Their activities included visits to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Mount Vernon, a guided tour of the Washington, D.C. area, including Arlington Cemetery, The White House, Capitol Hill, Lockheed Martin and Gettysburg.
And last but not least a visit to the Pentagon, where the veterans were honored by approximately 800 Pentagon employees. All-in-all, it was an unforgettable experience for the four wounded warriors and those at Creative Christmas who visited with them.