IN MEMORY OF NORWAY'S CHILDREN -- FOR LISE UTNE
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[NORWEGIAN CONSTITUTION DAY, Oslo, Norway, May 17, 1962]
I was in Northern Maine last month when word reached me of the tragedy that had befallen Norway. I regret that I could not respond until now.
Dad was a career naval officer and his long absences from home were very hard on the family. In 1962, Mom decided that we would fly to Europe to meet Dad. He was on board the U.S.S. Wasp (an aircraft carrier), and during its six-month cruise, the Wasp put in at 15 ports of call, including Oslo, Norway.
We were in Oslo on May 17, 1962 for what turned out to be quite a festive occasion. Parading schoolchildren and their bands were everywhere to be seen and heard. I had the 35mm camera that Dad had given me in 1955, and I began snapping away.
Norwegian Constitution Day is the major national holiday in Norway. It celebrates adoption of the Norwegian Constitution on May 17, 1814. The entire nation participates, and in Oslo, itself, more than 100 schools participate. Their parade route takes them by the royal palace. The national pride and joy is so evident.
I look at these photos now, and I realize that the children shown here were about the age of the children who lost their lives last month. I wonder if any of these bright, attractive, patriotic children -- now in their 60s -- lost a grandchild in the rampage.
I grieve for Norway and its children.
Also by Richard Knight
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