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Norwegians celebrate Constitution Day

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- May 17 is a national holiday in Norway, the Norwegian Constitution Day.
The Norwegian founding fathers signed the country's constitution May 17, 1814.
That act followed the Norwegian cessation from the union with Denmark. 

However, Norway entered into another union - this time with Sweden - and it took 91 more years for Norway to become independent again in 1905. 

Each year, celebrations take place all over the country, as well as around the world where Norwegians can be found. 

Sheppard is no exception. 

It hosts a small community of 55 Norwegians made up of 80th Flying Training Wing student pilots, instructor pilots and the office of the Norwegian Senior National Representative and their families. 

The Sheppard Norwegian community celebrated the Norwegian Constitution Day May 17 with a children's parade, a party with traditional food and a church service that included a confirmation hearing, three baptisms and a surprise wedding at the clinic chapel for a celebrative service presided over by Reverend Jan Tommy Fosse from the Norwegian Seamen's Church of Houston. 

Capt. Vegard Boethun and his wife, Line, gave their second child the name Petter. Capt. Oeystein Vollstad and his wife, Peggy, gave their first-born the name Suzahn Kathleen. Capt. Tommy Alstad and his wife, Monica, named their second child Maya Sofie. 

Charlotte Sorensen, daughter of the Norwegian SNR, Lt. Col. Stig Sorensen, also did her mandatory pre-confirmation hearing during the service. Capt. Lars Holten, an Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals instructor and his fiancée, Camilla, had secretly planned to get married during the service. 

After the service, Colonel Sorensen, and his wife, Hanne, opened their house to the festive Norwegian crowd. The party started with a traditional children's parade in the SNR's neighborhood. Children and most of the adults paraded to march music, waving flags and singing. Many wore traditional national costumes. Often made of wool, these costumes are meant for the cooler climate in Norway. 

The parade was followed by traditional Norwegian food and homemade cakes.