THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Wednesday, October 18, 1995 TAG: 9510170090 SECTION: VIRGINIA BEACH BEACON PAGE: 04 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: BY BILL REED, STAFF WRITER LENGTH: Short : 50 lines
The sight of royalty at the resort Oceanfront is a unique experience for Boardwalk denizens.
And some 300 spectators were on hand Friday to get a close-up view of Queen Sonja of Norway as she placed a bouquet of roses at the base of the Norwegian Lady statue to commemorate the ties between Virginia Beach and its sister city, Moss, Norway.
The ceremony also indirectly honored her countrymen who lost their lives in the wreck of the Norwegian bark Dictator off the coast of Virginia Beach 104 years ago.
The stately queen, wearing a conservative blue-gray suit and a pair of shades, placed the blooms on a small cloth-covered table, stepped back and without a word returned to her seat overlooking the same Atlantic Ocean that laps at the shores of her homeland 3,700 miles to the east.
The brief ceremony took place after Mayor Meyera Oberndorf had welcomed the queen to Virginia Beach, equating it to Moss, Norway.
``Moss, reminds me of Virginia Beach,'' said Oberndorf as television and newspaper cameras captured the scene. ``Both are clean and green.''
By the mayor's side, bearing the bouquet the queen would later lay at the foot of the statue, was Christian Cimmino, a kindergartner at Stratford Preschool on Shore Drive.
The Beach appearance was part of a state visit to Hampton Roads that began earlier Saturday, when King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway arrived at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Norfolk. The royal couple is in the United States to visit friends, discuss the NATO alliance and participate in the 50th anniversary of the United Nations on Oct. 24.
The statue that faces the Atlantic at the 25th Street Park was a gift from the citizens of Moss, Norway. They commissioned a sculptor to cast two identical figures to commemorate the March 1891 shipwreck, one for Virginia Beach and one to remain in Moss. ILLUSTRATION: Staff photos by DAVID B. HOLLINGSWORTH
Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf was on hand last Friday to
greet Queen Sonja of Norway at curbside on Atlantic Avenue and 25th
Street as the Cox High School Wind Ensemble played marches and
anthems. The queen then laid a bouquet at the foot of the statue of
the Norwegian Lady.