Today, May 17, is Norway’s Constitution Day.
And even though we celebrate the independence and freedom that Norway gained in the year 1814 with parades, ice cream, hot dogs, bunad (national costume) speeches, games and songs, Norway will never forget that there was a 5 year stretch of time during the Nazi occupation of World War II, in which they could not celebrate it at all. No songs, no bunad, no flag waving, nothing even remotely patriotic.
I would have loved to have been here to witness the celebrations in May 1945. Those people KNEW what freedom was, what it had cost them, and the joy of coming through the nightmare that was Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The 17th of May, and everything it stood for, took on a whole new meaning for them from that day on.
Yes, I really do love this land…