Speech by Øystein Bø at WWII Memorial Ceremony in Washington DC

Norwegian Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Øystein Bø, held a speech at WWII Memorial Ceremony in Washington DC, May 25 2015. He also had an office call with his counterpart in Pentagon during his visit to the US.

Norway’s State Secretary for Defence, Øystein Bø, also visited Pentagon where he met to discuss a range of topics with Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work. Readout of Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work’s Office Call with Norway’s State Secretary for Defence.

 

Norwegian Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Øystein Bø, held a speech at WWII Memorial Ceremony in Washington DC, May 25 2015.

See also a video from the speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m57pULNV0jo

 

Øystein Bø at Memorial Day May 25th 2015. Credit: Erling Eikli, Forsvarets Forum

 

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Veterans, dear friends,

It is a great honour for me to be here with you today.

Here – in this hallowed place – this Memorial raised to the courage and sacrifices of the greatest generation – the brave servicemen and women who fought and won World War Two.

Some of you are here with us today. We are deeply honored by your presence.

As a Norwegian, I stand among friends, true friends. The friendship between our countries has been forged and built through peace and war – on battlefields from Omaha Beach to Afghanistan, through more than 60 years as close Allies, as well as through trade, diplomacy and cultural exchange. And, I dare say, I am also among family, as there are more American Norwegians here in the United States, than there are Norwegians back home in Norway. No doubt, our ties are strong.

This year, we commemorate 70 years since end of the Second World War. In Europe, we could start rebuilding what five years of Nazi oppression and war had destroyed. Neither victory, nor reconstruction, would have been possible without the effort and sacrifice of the American Armed Forces, and without US leadership and assistance in the decades following 1945.

During five years of war, Norwegians found a safe haven in the United States. Here, we gathered strength to continue fighting for our freedom back home. His Majesty King Harald the Fifth, who was 3 years old when he came here in August 1940, has claimed the United States as a "second home country".

Today, our nations are part of a strong and enduring alliance. Today, American and Norwegian soldiers stand side by side in operations around the globe. As close friends and allies should, and must. Built on the lessons of war – NATO and the Transatlantic community, still stand as the bedrock of European and Norwegian security.

Sharing the same values, we train together, and, when called upon - we will fight together. 

In 1942, President Roosevelt praised Norwegian fighting spirit in his so-called “Look to Norway”-speech. Here today, I would like to say: "Look to the United States" – And look to our common history – proving the unbreakable American commitment to the values we cherish.

Dear veterans,

I bow my head in gratitude and deep respect for every wounded and fallen American and Allied soldier, sailor or airman, and for what America did for all the rest of us, so that we, and our children, can enjoy a future in freedom.

We honuor and salute your determination and sacrifices.  We will never forget!