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On this D-Day, we take time to reflect

As the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we take time to stop and reflect on those events that changed the course of world history. Filming at the Normandy beaches was a profoundly emotional and thought-provoking experience. I was visiting with US veteran Bob Allen who was returning for the first time since 1944. His remarkable story brought the reality of D-Day alive for me.

Equally thought-provoking was listening to the story told by my old friend Mikhail Bobrov. A Russian hero, he risked his life to camouflage the golden spires and domes of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) during its 900-day siege. His extraordinary achievements helped to thwart the German bombings, and saved thousands of lives.

Many of us can recall stories of heroes closer to home. My own paternal grandfather, whom I never had the honour to know, fought in the Norwegian resistance. His efforts and those who fought alongside him were later awarded by our king.

To Bob Allen, Mikhail Bobrov, my grandfather, and all those brave men and women who sacrificed so much so that we could live in peace, we say thank you.

Karine Hagen
Vice President, Viking River Cruises


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