Wisconsin Luxembourgian community proud of Mayor Barrett's nomination as ambassador

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett being nominated for U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, you may not know that there's a big local connection to Luxembourg here in Wisconsin.

Just north of Milwaukee, there's a community with a large population of people who have Luxembourg ancestry.

In Belgium, Wisconsin you have the Luxembourg American Cultural Center, also an example of Luxembourg architecture, as well as the Luxembourg Fest just a couple weeks ago.

People here said they're proud to have Mayor Barrett representing the U.S. to Luxembourg.

Richard Uselding said his family's roots go deep in the Green Heart of Europe.

"[Uselding is a] Luxembourg name, there's a Uselding village in Luxembourg. My wife and I were fortunate to visit there about 15 years ago, [it's a] very unique special place to me," said Uselding.

Uselding said he was part of establishing the festival in Belgium, and was even able to meet Mayor Barrett at the most recent one.

"I felt quite elated and honored that he would represent our United States in Luxembourg, our homeland," said Uselding, "I'm also proud that he's a Catholic and we predominantly are Catholic community."

Serena Stuettgen, at the Luxembourg American Cultural Center, does genealogy research.

"There are about 72,000 Luxembourgers that immigrated from their home country to the United States, most of those in the Midwest, quite a few in Wisconsin," said Stuettgen.

Executive director of the center, Patricia Lutz, said Luxembourg and Wisconsin have a lot in common.

"Specifically, Wisconsin people love their beer and so do people in Luxembourg," said Lutz.

But also industry and food, which is why she said it's a good fit.

"This will be a wonderful new position for him, we wish him the best of luck with it. And we also look forward to working with him in the future," said Lutz.

People at the museum say there are also many more buildings with Luxembourgian style architecture in the region.

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