ALE guests who flew to the South Pole on December 14, 2012 were greeted by a simple and fitting tribute to Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first person to achieve the Pole. There were no crowds, no speeches, no great celebrations. A single Norwegian flag fluttered next to the pole marker, testament to the achievement of this great explorer and his men.
Amundsen and his team arrived at the South Pole 101 years ago, on December 14, 1911. In his book, Amundsen wrote of that day, “So we arrived, and planted our flag at the geographical South Pole. Thanks be to God!”
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg brought a Norwegian flag to the South Pole for last year’s Amundsen centenary celebrations on December 14, 2011. On that day he honored the extraordinary effort and achievements of Amundsen and his team, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting. He also highlighted the importance of Antarctica in understanding global climate change and the need for us to rise to the challenges that it presents. Prime Minister Stoltenberg handed the flag to the station in memory of the Centenary.
Personnel at Amundsen-Scott station promised to fly the Norwegian flag at the South Pole each and every December 14 in honor of Amundsen. It is a fitting tribute to the explorer and his enduring legacy, a reminder that we are able to rise to great challenges, and that through great effort we can achieve them.
Prime Minister Stoltenberg’s tribute to Amundsen (video link)