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Remarks at the Renaming Ceremony of Thule Air Base to Pituffik Space Base
U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark Alan Leventhal April 6, 2023
April 6, 2023

English version

Thank you. General Saltzman, Foreign Minister Motzfeldt, distinguished guests, I am pleased to be here with all of you on this very special day.  Today, we celebrate the renaming of this base to Pituffik Space Base.

Pituffik is not a new name. It is the name this land has had for many generations.  It is a place where people have lived, hunted, and tied up their dog teams for thousands of years.  It is very fitting that today, when we also celebrate the beginning of Greenland Heritage Week, is also the day the base is officially renamed Pituffik, recognizing the name given to this place long ago.

I want to warmly welcome all of the Greenlandic residents of the surrounding areas who have traveled so far, some by dog sled, to join us for this very special event. It means so much that you made the journey to be here today.

It was very important to me that our Greenlandic and Danish partners could be with us. Thank you, Vivian for joining us.  I am pleased that many members of the Greenlandic parliament, Admiral la Cour-Andersen from JACO, and so many other friends are here.

It has been a priority for the United States government to continue to deepen our ties with the people and government of Greenland. It is why the United States re-opened our Consulate in Nuuk – and I am pleased that our Consul Joanie Simon and her colleagues, Peter Velasco, Nukaaka Hansen, and Pernille Kleemann are here with us.  Our team in Nuuk is working closely to build understanding and communication between the United States and Greenland.

The renaming of this base today speaks to the significance of our partnership with the entire Kingdom of Denmark.

We also want to recognize that the creation of this base caused the movement in the 1950s of the community who called this place home, resulting in hardship and pain for those people and their descendants.

We cannot undo the hardship that relocation created for the original inhabitants of this area. But, what we can do today is honor the Greenlandic language and the history of this region.

We also recognize the important role this installation has played in ensuring our countries and all of North America have remained safe and secure. This base has always played a critical role in securing our shared freedoms, on the land, on the sea, in the air, and in space.  It is a critical bridge, which links the defense of North America and Europe.

Thank you to Colonel Capps and your entire team for sharing with us the fascinating and important work you all do here.

I hope today’s ceremony and the new name – Pituffik Space Base will become a symbol of our cooperation, in science – climate and space research, the common defense of our countries, and the stability of this amazing part of the world that is so vital for all our survival – the Arctic.

Thank you and I look forward to talking with many of you during this afternoon.

Greenlandic Language Version


General Saltzman, Nunanut Allanut Naalakkersuisoq Vivian Motzfeldt, peqataasullu tamarmik, ullumikkut ulloq pingaaqisumi assut nuannaarutigingaarpara tamassi peqatigisinnaagassi. Ullumikkumiimmi sakkutooqarfik Pituffik Space Base-mik ateqalerpoq.

Pituffimmik aatsaat ateqalinngilaq. Mannami ukiorpassuarni Pituffimmik ateqarnikuuvoq. Inuit maani najugaqarnikuuppummi, piniarlutik qimmitillu pituttarnikuullugit ukiut 1000-likkaanik. Taamaattumik naapertuulluinnarpoq, Greenland Heritage Week aallarnerfigalugu sakkutooqarfik pisortatigoortumik Pituffimmik ateqaleqqinnera, atermi una ukiorpassuit atiunikoq nersorniarlugu.

Kalaallit maani eqqaani najugaqartut tamassi ullumikkut peqataajartorlusi, ilaasalu qimusserlusi tikinnikut, tikilluaqqungaarpassi ulloq pingaaqisumut peqataajartorassi. Isumaqarluinnarpoq maannga najuukkiartornersi ullumikkut.

Pingaartippara assut, Kalaallit Nunaanni Danmarkimiillu suleqatigisartakkagut peqataasinnaammata. Qujanaq Vivian, peqatigiartorsinnaagatsigu. Nuannaarutigeqaara, Inatsisartuniit ilaasortat aamma peqataammata, Admiral la Cour-Andersen Arktisk Kommandomiit, aammalu allarpassuit ikinngutigut maaniimmata.Amerikamiut Naalakkersuisoqarfianniit salliunnikuuarput Kalaallit Nunaanni innuttaasut aammalu Naalakkersuinikkut suleqatigiinnerput ingerlateqqinniarlugu. Taaamaammat Nuummi Amerikamiut Sinniisoqarfiat ammaqqinnikuuarput – nuannaarutigaaralu Konsulerput Joanie Simon suleqataalu, Peter Velasco, Nukaaka Hansen aammalu Pernille Kleemann ullumi maani peqataammata. Nuummi sulisugut qanimut USA aammalu Kalaallit Nunaat paaseqatigiinnissaa attaveqaqatigiinnissaalu sulissutigivaat.

Ullumikkullu sakkutooqarfik atertaartinnera, takutippaa qanoq suleqatigiinnerput Kunngeqarfik Danmarkilu pingaaruteqartiginersoq uagutsinnut.

Nassuerutigissavarput, sakkutooqarfik 1950-kkunni pilersinneqarnera assut atugarliornermik aammalu anniarnermik sunniuteqarnikuusoq, innuttaasunut nuutsinneqarnikunut, taakkulu kinguaanut.

Kingumut peqqissimissutigigaluarlugu allanngortissinnaanngilarput innuttaasut nuutsitaanikut aqqusaarnikuusaat. Kisiat ullumikkut Kalaallit oqaasii aammalu oqaluttuarisaanera nersorusupparput.

Nersorusupparput una aaqqissuussineq qanoq pingaaruteqartiginikuunersoq, Amerikap Avannarleq isumannaatsuunissaanut. Sakkutooqarfimmi tamatigut pingaarluinnartumik inissisimanikuuvoq, kiffaanngissuseqarnerput ataatsimut isummannaarniarlugu, nunami, immami, silaannarmi aammalu avataarsumi. Tamannalu pingaaruteqarluinnarpoq, attaveqarfiuvorlu Amerikap Avannarlermi aammalu Europami sakkutooqarnikkut illersuineranut.

Qujarusuppugut Oberst Capps suleqataanullu, maani suleriaaseq alutornarluinnartoq aammalu pingaaruteqarluinnartoq takutissinnaagassiuk.

Neriuppunga ullumi katerisimaarnerput aammalu ateq nutaaq – Pituffik Space Base ilisarnaatigiumaaraa suleqatigiinnerput, ilisimatusarnikkut, silap pissusaanut aammalu avataarsuanik ilisimatuutut misissuinermi. Nunagut ataatsimut patajaatsumik illersorniarneranut nunarsuarmut pingaaruteqaqisumut – nunat immallu isittup avannarliit.

Qujanaq, qilanaarpunga ullup ingerlanerani oqaloqatiginnissassinnut.