Skandinaven -- September 27, 1896The Hans Christian Andersen Statue
The monument to Hans Christian Andersen has at last been completed. The statue was the work of the well-known Danish-American sculptor, Johann Gelert.
About fifteen thousand people were present [at the dedication ceremonies in Lincoln Park]; many stirring speeches were made. The committee consisting of Henry L. Hertz, M. Solomonsen, and the Danish Consul, Nielsen, has now completed its job. The crowd gave the committee members quite an ovation. Mr. Petersen, the Consul General, made the opening speech, which ran as follows:
"It is more than a thousand years ago that courageous Danes first found their way to the shores of America. For more than fifty years, the influx of Danes to this center of true Americanism has been great and unabated, and we have here found a new home worthy of our love and admiration.2
"For a long time, it has been the custom of foreign-born citizens to present their adopted country with statues of the great men of their native countries, and this park already contains many of them. Following that example, we American citizens of Danish descent have erected this statue of one of our great Danish poets, whose name is well known all over the world and particularly in this country, where literature and poetry are so highly appreciated. And here, amid the handsome surroundings of this beautiful park, one of our best Danish sculptors has erected a likeness of the great Hans Christian Andersen.
"Let this creation in bronze stand here as a symbol of our gratitude and affection toward the land of liberty, the United States."
At this moment, the Danish flags that covered the statue were removed, while the crowd cheered for over twenty minutes. When Mr. Petersen could make himself heard, he closed with the following words; "On behalf of all Danes in American and as president of the Hans Christian Andersen Monument Association, I hereby tender this statue to the Board of Commissioners of Lincoln Park. To coming generations it shall speak of our love for America and 3Chicago and of our sincere desire to be, and to teach them [our children] to be, worthy citizens of our adopted country."
The main speaker and guest of honor, Judge John Gibbon, then delivered the following address:
[The speaker paid tribute to the genius of Hans Christian Andersen].
II C, III H, IV
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