Minneapolis, MN, May 24, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Sons of Norway CEO Eivind Heiberg, acting in his dual capacity as Honorary Consulate General for the Kingdom of Norway, made an appearance at Fort Snelling Tuesday in support of an effort to memorialize the 99th Infantry Battalion, an elite unit of Norwegian-speaking soldiers who fought for the U.S. Army in World War II.
Nicknamed “The Viking Battalion,” the 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) consisted of 1,001 original members, roughly half of whom were Minnesotans - and all of whom were of Norwegian descent. Along with Norwegian ancestry and language skills, skiing abilities were required for inclusion in the special unit, which was tasked with infiltrating occupied Norway to execute sabotage missions and weaken German hold.
The 99th Infantry was activated at Fort Ripley, Minnesota, in 1942, and many members later trained at Fort Snelling. To date, 76 members of the 99th Infantry have been buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. A ceremony and monument dedication honoring those men will take place at Fort Snelling on Saturday, May 25, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Sons of Norway, a financial services and international cultural organization headquartered in Minneapolis, began with shared values and a simple promise of financial security when like-minded people came together to protect their families, celebrate their culture and strengthen their community.
For 124 years, Sons of Norway has lived their mission to promote and preserve the heritage and culture of Norway, celebrate relationships with other Nordic countries and provide quality insurance and financial products to members. Now 50,000 members strong, Sons of Norway plays an active role in communities throughout North America and Norway.