The King and Queen of Norway visited Luther College in Decorah today. King Harald  said he views the United States in a special way. He says his first visit was under trying circumstances during the second world war when his mother, and his sisters came to the United States while his father and grandfather took refuge with the Norwegian government in London.

King Harald says he was only three when he came here, and when he returned five years later, he views the U.S. as a second home. Harald talked about the need for the two countries to work together for the common good.

He says in a globalized world where we are all interdependent, we need each other in the common struggle for lasting peace based on justice and dignity of all. “Let us never forget that it is after all easier to wage war than to make peace,” the King said. He also talked about the connection between Decorah and Norway

“Immigrants who came from Norway to America took a grand portion of Norway with ’em, this is perhaps more obvious in Decorah than in any other place in America,” the King said as the crowd laughed, “Thanks to institutions like Luther College and Vesterheim Museum, you have managed to preserve this heritage.”

Luther College is one of the first colleges in America founded by Norwegian settlers. It’s celebrating it’s 150th anniversary this year.

He says the college has formed a powerful intellectual and emotional link between Norway and the U.S. since the beginning of the Civil War, and he says the school continues to do so as Luther and the University of Oslo continue to share cultures and traditions.

The king and queen will also visit Rochester, Northfield, Minneapolis and Duluth Minnesota on a three day tour of the midwest

By Darin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah