Editor’s Notes: Hipp hipp hurra for Syttende Mai!

It’s a day of celebration!

Dear readers and friends,

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has gone by since our last Syttende Mai edition, but here we are—and what a year it has been. We have seen more turmoil from the effects of the pandemic as well as the war in Ukraine. Sometimes, it feels as if our entire world is being turned upside down.

But there is also much to be happy about with this year’s 17th of May celebrations. For the first time in two years, many of us will be able to gather in person again, and parades and parties are being planned all over Norway and here in North America. As I have interacted with organizing committees around the country, I have sensed that there is a lot of optimism and excitement in the air. This year, the 17th of May is going to be a very big day of celebration!

It’s been a joy for me and our team to put together this special issue and share this upbeat atmosphere with you. As your editor, I like sharing good news, especially during times when things do not seem so positive.

When I recently spoke to a Sons of Norway lodge here in Seattle, I talked about some of the challenges I face as editor of this newspaper. While I feel it is very important that we are aware of what is going on in the world around us, I also want the paper to be something to inspire you and lift you up. We need to be aware of what needs to change in our society and in the global community around us, but we must never give up hope for the future.

That is why so many of us look to our history and heritage for strength, and this year, I believe Norway’s Constitution Day will have a deeper meaning than ever for us. The Norwegian Constitution and our own U.S. Constitution set the core values for our societies to ensure that we live in free democracies, and we cannot take any of this for granted. We have a responsibility to uphold what we believe in and to defend our freedom at any cost. This may imply great sacrifices for ourselves and others, even today in the great affluence in which we live.

With this issue, we spend some time looking back at Norway’s history, especially the sacrifices made during World War II, when many Norwegians and Americans were forced to put their lives on the line for what they believed in. So many sacrifices were made during this time, both great and small. When this issue lands in your mailbox, we will also be remembering May 8, 1945, Norway’s Liberation Day from Nazi tyranny. Some of you lived through this time, or, as in my own case, your parents have shared their memories of the war. It is imperative that we do not forget and that we pass this collective memory on to new generations.

I believe that our newspaper has a more important role to play now than ever before, as we work to enforce the important relationship between Norway and the United States in a time of unprecedented geopolitical uncertainty. That is why I take my role as editor-in-chief so seriously. I would like to make a positive difference in your lives.

And then, there is all the fun! This is a colorful issue, with all the stories about Syttende Mai on both sides of the Atlantic. In regard to the latter, I would like to thank all my friends in Bergen, Norway, who so generously stepped up to the plate, providing me with inspiration and special content. I am especially happy to share our cover photo from my good friend Emil Weatherhead Breistein, a professional photographer in Bergen. It’s an image that I have used many times for the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, but I realized that it is a photo that belongs on a cover of The Norwegian American.

And then there is all the wonderful food. We are so fortunate to have such a talented Taste of Norway editor in Kristi Bissell. I have tried all of the recipes in advance of the holiday, and I can assure you that these delicious recipes will make an impressive splash at any 17th of May celebration.

There are so many people that I would like thank for making this issue come together: our team, our advertisers, and you, our readers. It is always such a joy to receive your 17th of May greetings and share them with all of our readers—a big TUSEN TAKK!

Finally, I want to remind you to take along your cameras on Syttende Mai. As tradition is, we will be publishing the photos you send us in our June 10 issue, yet another thing to look forward to.

From our entire team at The Norwegian American, I wish you a wonderful 17th of May celebration from the bottom of my heart—hipp hipp hurra for Syttende Mai!

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.