By John Andreasen, Lodge President
The Seventeenth of May children’s parade captures the essence of Norway’s Constitution Day celebration. The proud display of red, white, and blue in flags and costumes pays tribute to the Norwegian democracy founded in 1814.
As a student in Norway, I vividly remember participating in the children’s parade in front of the royal palace in Oslo. King Olav and his family stood on the balcony waving tirelessly to the thousands of smiling children. A sense of national pride was nurtured in each child marching in the parade. Participation builds a loyalty to last for a lifetime.
When I think of our mission in Sons of Norway, to preserve and promote our heritage, I can think of no more powerful way to pass on the abiding values of our culture, than to involve our children. A children’s parade serves as a reminder that a new generation embraces the values we hold dear. Even more than a reminder to seniors is the fact that children are building memories for themselves. By dressing up, marching with friends, and waving the national colors, children learn the vocabulary of freedom. We have both an obligation and an opportunity to celebrate with our younger family members.
On the 17th of May let us tell our children and grandchildren about this colorful heritage. Let us look for ways in our own families to celebrate the freedom and democracy we cherish, both as Norwegians and Americans. Bring out a flag, share an ancestral story and treat your Norwegian taste buds to a favorite family tradition.
As a member of Sons of Norway, you are invited to enjoy a Syttende Mai Dinner of torsk and meatballs, followed by a festive program and dance at the Kringen Lodge on Monday, May 17th. Come and join the celebration!