Finns to celebrate 370 years in America
CHESTER, Pa. -- His Excellency the Ambassador of Finland Pekka Lintu was the guest of honor Sunday at the annual Finnish Settlers Monument Ceremony, an occasion he called "an important historical event."
Despite sweltering heat, close to 200 people attended the gathering, hosted by the Delaware Valley Finnish Americans along with the Finnish-American Society of the Delaware Valley.
The ceremony each year honors the first Finnish settlement in America, said Delaware Valley Finnish Americans President Roy Palo, of Bear, who noted that Finnish settlers have been widely credited with the vital accomplishment of "creating fair trade with the Indians of the area."
Pennsylvania Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-Media, who helped secure a grant for recent improvements at the monument, congratulated the Finnish-Americans for their efforts to raise awareness of the Finns' contributions.
"I'm a living example of the impact you have," he said.
Pileggi explained that Pennsylvanians tend to focus on English settlers, but he likes to tell people Finns preceded them.
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