A celebration of our common bonds | In Our Opinion

The 2014 Viking Fest logo was designed by Jeff Woodley of Northwest College of Art & Design.  - Jeff Woodley
The 2014 Viking Fest logo was designed by Jeff Woodley of Northwest College of Art & Design.
— image credit: Jeff Woodley

Editor's note: Norway's Constitution Day is May 17. The date was incorrect in the print version of this editorial.

May 17 is to Americans of Norwegian ancestry what May 5 is to Americans of Mexican ancestry, June 2 is to Americans of Filipino ancestry, and July 4 is to all of us.

Each of those dates represent a watershed moment when people dared to shake the bonds of oppression, to create a more just society, to be free.

May 17, the second day of Poulsbo’s Viking Fest celebration, is Norway’s Constitution Day. And it’s a day all of us — no matter where our family trees took root — can join in solidarity with our brethren of Norse ancestry and celebrate our common bonds. For whatever the reason that immigrant ancestors came to the United States — economic, environmental, political — their families’ journeys led their descendants to this city on Liberty Bay.

We acknowledge the sacrifices of those ancestors who, often out of necessity, made their home in a new land, but we give thanks that the path they chose led here. We acknowledge the millennia of stewardship of this place by its First People, and pledge to do our part to be good caretakers of the environment that sustains us. We continue to pray for those working to build free and just societies, in the lands of our forebears and elsewhere in the world. And we welcome and embrace those who join us here — just as we were welcomed and embraced — adding their cultures and values and teachings to the fabric of this community.

Poulsbo’s population is increasingly diverse. But we all can relate to the significance and purpose of Norway’s Constitution Day. And on May 17, we all can take pride in the words, Velkommen til Poulsbo.

Welcome to Poulsbo. And welcome to Poulsbo’s Viking Fest celebration.



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