Royal couple honours 2nd World War sailors in Konvoibyen

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit visit the Konvoibyen in Risør: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

The Prime Minister spoke in Narvik, the king was at the Akershus fortress,and the Crown Prince and his wife honoured 2nd World War sailors in Risør on liberation and veterans day this Tuesday.


“It’s good to celebrate this day with you, Else,” said the crown princess when she greeted Else Heimstad at Viddefjell in Risør, wrote Aust-Agder Blad newspaper.

Heimstad and her husband, Leif, fought a long battle for a number of years against injustice for the war sailors. 50 years ago, in 1968, the Konvoiby of the old Sønderled municipality was started as a place where many naval war veterans could find a home.King Olav once met Leif Hermstad when he opened the home for traumatised people.

Very big

The Norwegian wartime sailor and welfare worker Leif Heimstad died in 2010. On Tuesday,Else, his wife, was honourary guest at the event.

‘’It’s very big. I think they really appreciate what is being done,’’ Else Heimstad said about the royal visit.

The name, ‘Konvoibyen’ originates from the convoy of the Norwegian ships in the merchant fleet during World War II. Around 25,000 Norwegians sailed across large oceans, every tenth was killed and more than half of our powerful merchant fleet of over 800 ships went down before May Day in 1945.

Solberg in Narvik

Prime Minister, Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) and a number of her ministers were present during various May the 8th events around the country on Tuesday. Defence Minister, Frank Bakke-Jensen (H) participated, as did King Harald at the National Monument at Akershus Fortress, while Solberg visited Narvik.

“Nowhere else did the fighting break out for as long as at Narvik. This was where Hitler’s Germany got its first defeat. Throughout the world, Narvik became the symbol of the Wehrmacht not being invincible,’’ Solberg said in her speech on Tuesday afternoon.

She also noted the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the Norwegian soldiers at the UN forces base in southern Lebanon and concluded that May the 8th is a day of celebration and gratitude.

‘’Celebration that 73 years ago we got our freedom back after five years of occupation, suffering and death. Gratitude for the victims’ efforts, and for soldiers, opponents and civilians. And for the hundreds of thousands of Norwegians who have served in the Armed Forces since,’’ Solberg said.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today