Officials with the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn are pleased to report Dr. John Mark Nielsen, Executive Director of the museum, was recently awarded “Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog,” by Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen, representing Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen presents The Danish Immigrant Museum Executive Director John Mark Nielsen with the badge of the Order of Dannebrog in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
The ceremony took place at the Danish Embassy in Washington, D.C. on February 27th, while Nielsen was there representing the Iowa Museum Association at Museum Advocacy Day 2013. The Queen bestowed the award upon Nielsen on December 19, 2012, however he wasn’t notified of the honor until his trip to Washington had been confirmed.
The Order of the Knight of the Dannebrog was instituted in 1671 by King Christian V. The Order is used to decorate a select group of people who, through selfless deeds, have helped advance the interests of Denmark. Nielsen’s award is based on almost 90 letters of support from both Danish and American citizens who felt that Nielsen merited official recognition for his work on behalf of Denmark. The process was initiated by his colleagues at The Danish Immigrant Museum and coordinated by the Danish Consul for Iowa and former board member, Lynette Rasmussen of Johnston.
The letters all describe his professional success as well as his volunteer work for a number of Danish and Danish-American organizations. Many of the letters echoed similar statements that Nielsen is “always willing and enthusiastic about sharing his great knowledge of all things Danish” and “impresses all with his warm and friendly personality.”
A celebration in honor of the award will be held on June 22nnd in Elk Horn, concurrent with the museum’s 30th anniversary and Sankt Hans Aften festivities. For more information about the museum, call 712.764.7001 or visit www.danishmuseum.org