The day's proceedings included a military full honors ceremony with a 21-gun salute, a troop inspection by the king, a commemoration of President Roosevelt's 1942 wartime transference of a submarine chaser to the Norwegian Navy and a reenactment of Roosevelt's famous "Look to Norway" speech.
The event took place days after Norway assisted the United States with Hurricane Katrina supplies. During the king's remarks, he took the time to remember the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then he commented on the deeper historical connection between the United States and Norway.
"It is in times of difficulty and hardship that you learn who your true friends are," said the king. "Norway will never forget the decisive roll played by the United States in the liberation of Europe [during World War II]...[It] laid the foundation for the extensive, broad and strong bilateral between our two countries that has existed ever since."
During World War II, Norway's ships protected convoys traveling back-and-forth across the Atlantic shipping supplies to allied forces in Great Britain. German forces attacked Norwegian ships viciously. Allies lost millions of tons of supplies in 1942 alone and Norway lost 200 ships and 1300 seamen from 1940 to 1942.
The king's visit--his second this year--marked the first time he and his sisters had been together in Washington, D.C., since 1940, when the family sought refuge in the capital. Forced from Norway after the German invasion, Roosevelt invited the royal family to temporarily reside in Washington.
Then Prince Harald, his sisters and his mother, Crown Princess Martha, spent 5 years in the city, 5 months of which were spent living in the White House.
On Sept. 16, 1942, Roosevelt presented KNM to the Princess as a gift of gratitude for Norway's contribution to the war effort and a gift encouraging Norway to continue building its rapidly growing and effective Naval forces. With the transfer, the USS PC-467 joined the Royal Norwegian Navy as HNMS King Haakon VII (KNM), Norway.
On September 19, the king and his party toured the Navy Museum then moved to the Anacostia waterfront. The United States Navy Band played 1940s music for the audience, before Delmas Wood of the FDR Living Museum in Sandy Spring, Md., arrived in a 1939 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan like the one used in the original 1942 ceremony.
Stepping up to the podium with a cane and leg braces and displaying the results of the President's bout with polio, the actor performed the "Look to Norway" speech. In the speech, Roosevelt rallied allied forces, reintroducing them to why they were fighting World War II in the first place.
"And with Norway fell the concept that either remoteness from political controversy or usefulness to mankind could give any nation immunity from attack in a world where aggression spread unchecked," said Roosevelt.
"All the memories from the war are returning," said Odvar G. Fredriksen, an original crewmember of the ship who was present at Monday's events.
Inge Steensland, the Sailor who originally hoisted the Norwegian flag on the new ship in 1942, was also at the ceremony. Fredriksen and Steensland are two of the three surviving crewmembers of KNM.
KNM was decommissioned in 1951, after sailing 85,000 nautical miles in the War Zone, fulfilling Roosevelt's wish from his 1942 speech, that "...the day [may] come when she will carry the Norwegian flag into a home port in a free Norway!"