Reader's view: Norway has done much for the cause of world peace
On Oct. 17, the king and queen of Norway will visit Duluth to rededicate the tower at Enger Park. It's certain that civic leaders and residents of the city will be on hand to bask in the honor of a royal visit. I plan to be on hand in the hope th...
On Oct. 17, the king and queen of Norway will visit Duluth to rededicate the tower at Enger Park. It's certain that civic leaders and residents of the city will be on hand to bask in the honor of a royal visit. I plan to be on hand in the hope that I will find a way to thank the king for the tremendous work the nation of Norway has done to rid the world of the scourge of landmines and cluster munitions.
Norway never dropped a single bomb on Laos during the Vietnam War. Norway never laid a single land mine. But today, a humanitarian-clearance organization named Norwegian People's Aid works 365 days a year in Laos, removing old ordnance dropped from American planes. The group's work is of critical importance. Since the Vietnam War ended more than 35 years ago, leftover ordnance has killed or injured more than 20,000 Lao citizens, nearly half of them children.
Norway has led the world in advocating for a new international treaty that would ban the production, sale, storage or use of cluster munitions. The nation's role has been so significant that the effort to create the treaty and obtain adoption was dubbed "the Oslo Process."
At Enger Park, my grandson and I may not succeed in getting close enough to the royal couple to offer our thanks. I hope someone who does have the opportunity to meet the king will ask him to carry home thanks for his nation's help in cleaning up a deadly mess America created and left behind.
James A. Harris
The writer is the founder of a group called We Help War Victims.