how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway3

How Veterans Day Celebrate In Norway 2021

Veterans Day in Norway is on May 8, commemorating the end of the German occupation during World War II from 1940 to 1945. In 2011, this holiday substituted Liberation Day. Let’s take a look back at what happened and how today was marked as well as how Veterans day celebrate in Norway.

Best Veterans Day Gifts Everyone Will Love

Veterans Day is a great chance to give thanks express your gratitude to all the veterans in your life. So, If you’re looking for a way to show your appreciation, gift-giving is one of the great ways. Select one of the products below or go to our Veteran shirt collection for more ideas.

A little bit of Veterans Day history

The German occupation of Norway during World War II began on 9 April 1940. The so-called Norwegian Campaign began with Operation Weserübung. Norway fought for 62 days, but finally surrendered on June 10, 1940, and Norway was occupied for more than 5 years.

On 8 May 1945, Norwegian Commissar Josef Terboven committed suicide, and German military forces in Norway surrendered to the Allied Forces. The anniversary of this day is declared as Liberation Day. 

On that day, Norwegians took to the streets to celebrate the long-awaited freedom. In the days that followed, soldiers and prisoners of war returned home, and the celebrations continued.

How Veterans Day Celebrate In Norway
Have You Wondered How Veterans Day Celebrate In Norway

After the capitulation of National Socialist Germany, German forces in Norway were sent back to Germany. The Allies feared that the German army in Norway would refuse to surrender. At the time, the thought that Germany would voluntarily relinquish control of Norway, which it had heavily fortified and stationed hundreds of thousands of troops in, was not entirely possible. But the commander-in-chief in Norway received orders from the nation’s new president, Karl Dönitz.

Celebrations culminated when King Haakon returned home to Oslo on June 7. It was an iconic moment in Norwegian history. So Jo Nesbø refers to the incident as a pivotal moment in his Harry Hole novel, The Redbreast.

In 1996, the Norwegian government decided to dedicate Liberation Day to veterans who survived the Second World War. This decision was adopted due to the declining number of veterans. The government must honor these people, as well as veterans of UN peacekeeping operations. In 2010, the resolution was passed and the first Veterans Day was celebrated in 2011.

Replacing Victory Day with Veterans Day has caused opposition from several organisations, including the Norwegian Defense Association. It insists on arguing the changing content and form of the day.

This day is also celebrated in other countries as the effective end of war. In the UK, it is known as Victory Day in Europe, or VE Day. In Russia, the date is marked on May 9, due to the difference in time zones.

How Veterans day celebrate in Norway

So, how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway? Has it changed anything compared to before? 

The new Veterans Day also provided a chance for the military to show off some of their hardware, and thousands of spectators flocked to the historic Akershus Fort and Castle in Oslo to see the tanks, helicopters, weapons, and even naval frigates on display. This is also an opportunity for people to see the equipment that the Norwegian military is using in Afghanistan. In addition, here’re how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway every year:

One of Norway’s flag days

how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway
Here’re how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway every year

Although not a public holiday, Liberation Day is an official flag day. On this day, you can see the Norwegian flag flying high above all the buildings, from apartment balconies or from many private houses.

Liberation Day first became a flag day in 1960, when the government decided to mark the 15th anniversary of the end of the war. That same year, a poll showed widespread support for this permanent flag day. So then May 8 was adopted as the flag day by royal decree in 1962.

Norway’s Royals play an important role

The day is also marked by speeches and events around the country. The Norwegian royal family has a long tradition of participating in these events. While this year’s events cannot go on as usual because of Covid-19 restrictions, that won’t stop many people from marking the event privately.

how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway
Do you know how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway?

Two years ago, King Harald attended a ceremony to mark the occasion at the Akershus fortress in Oslo. The Prime Minister, the Speaker of the National Assembly, and the Minister of Defense also participated.

The king presented ten medals to those in honor of their military service in a special afternoon ceremony, following a church service and laying a wreath. After the King’s arrival, a group of Norwegian fighters flew over the fortress in formation.

While conventional armed resistance ended after only a few months, an underground resistance movement was active throughout the occupation.

The resistance movement

How Veterans Day celebrate in Norway 2021
Discover how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway 2021

The resistance took the form of military defense and counterattack, in part to allow the legitimate government of Norway to evade capture and flee to London. There was also armed resistance and famous acts of sabotage, most notably the Heavy Water War that took place in Telemark.

In Oslo on the grounds of Akershus Fort, the Norwegian Resistance Museum focuses on this period. Also known as the Norwegian Home Front Museum, the museum displays photos, equipment, and documents from the war years.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the meaning of this holiday as well as how Veterans Day celebrate in Norway. This holiday is an important day where we can honor veterans who have lived through wars and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. So, on November 11, join those across your country and around the world to celebrate and give thanks to those who work strived to make the world a better place, no matter what the cost was.

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