Val Hempel


immigrants, Danish-Americans, World War II, Pearl Harbor, Japan


Over the years, ever since immigration to the United States began, hundreds and thousands of Danes have crossed the Atlantic to begin new lives, to work, to settle and to become Americans. The vast majority of them have helped strengthen and build their adopted land, enrich its culture and add durable strands to that multicolored fabric that is America. Many stepped lightly and left few tracks while others broke bold new trails. A few fashioned memorable evidences of their journeys. Names such as Peter Lassen, Jacob Riis, William S. Knudsen, Jean Hersholdt, Victor Borge and others are known to millions. Some of them are, and others perhaps will become, part of history. But there are others whose lives touched millions and whose deeds significantly contributed to their adopted country, and yet their names are largely unknown. Such a person was Kai Eduard Rasmussen. But, let me start at the beginning.