For å feire 75 års-jubileet for frigjøringen av Norge og hedre våre falne og veteraner inviterte den norske ambassaden i Reykjavik til en liten markering ved minnesmerket for den norske 330 skvadron, som fra april 1941 til april 1943 var stasjonert på Island.
Tilstede var representanter for det norske forsvaret, det islandske utenriksministeriet, den islandske kystvakten, den britiske ambassaden og Nordmannslaget.
Ambassadør Norheims tale ved markering av frigjørings- og veterandagen 8. mai 2020
Today, we celebrate the 75 year anniversary of the liberation of Norway.
Today, we pay tribute to all the men and women who fought to win our freedom back. Too many of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Today, in Iceland, we come together to pay tribute to the 37 Norwegian servicemen who served and fell here.
18 of those men were laid to rest in Iceland. 19 died at sea, their bodies were never recovered.
None of their names will be forgotten, however.
They are all inscribed on the memorial that was raised in their memory, at Fossvogur cemetery in 1947.
The story of the memorial monument, raised with money given by students and teachers in Akureyri and the actors’ guild in Reykjavik, is a reflection of the close relationship between the people of Norway and Iceland, and between our two nations.
A bond forged through more than a thousand years of shared history and common values.
We raise monuments to show our recognition and appreciation.
And so that we, and the generations that follow, shall never forget the sacrifices made by those who came before us and what we owe them.
Or, in the words of Norwegian poet Per Sivle, engraved on the memorial:
OG DET ER
OG DET ER
Knowing the names of those who fell for our freedom helps us keep their stories alive.
Helps us recognize their sacrifice.
It makes it harder for us to forget.
I will tell you the names of three of these men, and let them represent the 37 we commemorate today.
A young man from Florø.
On the 31st of July 1941, he should have celebrated his 30th birthday.
One day earlier, his life was lost when his plane crashed.
Odd was a radio operator. He served in the 330 squadron.
The squadron was established in Great Britain in April 1941.
Shortly afterwards, it was deployed to Iceland, under the command of the Royal Air Force.
By the time the squadron was redeployed to Scotland in early 1943, it had lost 23 men and 12 airplanes.
The story of these 23 men is also the story of the strong and durable bond between Norway and the United Kingdom, and between our armed forces.
Thorvald was a shipmaster in the Merchant Marine. He hailed from Ålesund.
He died on the 1st of March 1941.
Ten other men who fell in Iceland were also seamen.
Some served in the Merchant Marine, some in the Navy.
John Birger Røberg
John Birger was from Bergen.
He was a private in the Norwegian Army.
When he fell on the 25th of February 1944, he was not yet 20.
He was one of three Army soldiers who lost their lives in Iceland during the war.
On this important day in our history, we remember Odd, Thorvald, John Birger and the 34 other men who gave their lives for our country and our freedom.
On this day, we celebrate freedom and independence.
We recognize all those who fought to win it, and all those who have defended it since.
Today we honour all veterans.
We show our support and appreciation for all the men and women who serve, or have served.
Those who guard and defend our peace, our democracy and our values.
Today is, first and foremost, a day of gratitude.
A day to thank and honour all those who put the freedom of the many above their own needs, and all those who continues to do so today.
Til stede var: Ambassadør Aud Lise Norheim, britisk ambassadør Michael Nevin, samt representanter for det norske forsvaret, det islandske utenriksministeriet, den islandske kystvakten og Nordmannslaget.