Vikings sailed the seas as master sailors and explorers. But you may be surprised to learn that a Viking sword unearthed from a grave in Oslo, estimated to be forged in 900 A.D., can be found on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. How did it get there?
In late 1943, then General Dwight Eisenhower became the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II. He remained in command of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) until the end of the war.
More than 10 years later, King Olav V of Norway handed the ancient sword to the Christian Radich’s Captain for one final sea voyage. It was presented to President Eisenhower in 1957. He served with a warrior’s spirit when needed, and helped bring liberty back to Norway and all of Europe. Today, the Viking sword is held by the U.S. Naval Academy Museum and proudly displayed at the U.S. Naval Institute.
When Norwegians recognize VE-Day or Liberation Day on May 8, they are honoring Norway’s return to freedom and peace. On Liberation Day in 2015 King Harald V said “Peace should never be taken for granted. It is not taken for granted today, nor was it 70 years ago.”