Thanksgiving 2019 Gala Dinner

Dear Colleagues, dear friends,

This past Friday evening, AMCHAM Luxembourg celebrated its Annual American Thanksgiving with 200 guests including our guests of honor, Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna and US Ambassador J Randolph Evans and their wives, along with  6 Ambassadors, 8 Corporate Sponsored tables,  7 tables of members and friends including three tables of US University Alumni and a table of representatives of the American stand at the International Bazar.  At this sold out event, we honored Minister Gramegna for his leadership and service to Luxembourg by presenting him with a Swarovski Crystal Statue award, listened to him and US Ambassador Evans speak in support of the ties between America and Luxembourg and the joint commitment and contributions of all the attendees in support of freedom, fairness, equality and promoting prosperity for all of us and for everyone around the world. It was a joyous night of good food, drinks, dancing and entertainment filled with comradery, friendship, sharing and reinforcing the ties that bind us together as colleagues, partners and friends.

Then on Saturday, I had the pleasure to take two dear friends who had come to join us for Thanksgiving to visit the American cemetery in Hamm. We walked the ground overcome by the quiet and solemn beauty of the place and absorbed the sacrifice of 5,076 men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to liberate Luxembourg, who gave their lives so we can live in freedom today.

On Sunday, I took the occasion to re-read the address given by President Lincoln at Gettysburg on 19 November 1863 on the occasion of the opening of that cemetery honoring those who gave their lives during the American

Civil war. I was struck by how that address was so relevant to me and us today.

We who are so fortunate to be blessed with such materiel success and personal freedom must not take these things for granted.  It is, as Lincoln said, rather for us to remember that our blessings and opportunities have been earned for us by those who came before… and it is only right and fair that we remember their sacrifices… and dedicate ourselves to continue to fight for and serve to deliver the dream of a better world…a world where all people, regardless of gender, color, religion, nationality or circumstances of birth are created equal and have the opportunity to make the best of and for themselves, a world where we all work together in support of both collective and individual liberty, freedom, happiness and prosperity… We must give thanks while also remembering and taking positive action.


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

On 19 November 2019, on the 156th anniversary of the Gettysburg address, I invite each of you to remember and to dedicate a portion of your day, every day, to ensure the sacrifices of our ancestors, and especially the ultimate sacrifices made for us, were not in vain and to ensure that each of us living today, every day, make a contribution to make the world a better place of peace, happiness and prosperity… for all of us and those who will come after us.

With respect, thanks and my very best wishes,

Paul Michael Schonenberg

Chairman and CEO

AMCHAM Luxembourg