Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The only army the world needs is the Salvation Army.

May 7 Peace Day! 1945

To commemorate Peace Day in 1945, I have been on Kungsgatan (High Street) in Stockholm today where I was on this same date 70 years ago along with fellow Salvationists Karl-Axel Lennermo, Stockholm and Lars-Eric Ericson, Gothenburg and thousands of others where with great jubilation we celebrated that peace in our time had finally arrived.

We participated in a study course on Lidingö (island) for prospective post-war workers in the Salvation Army. About 200 young Salvation Army soldiers and officers had registered for the “war service support follow-up” and we studied by correspondence the German language, war history, meal preparation for large seating, healthcare, etc. Several courses were conducted at the SA’s youth centre in Lidingö, under the leadership of Brigadier Erik Wickberg and specialists of various kinds. We had heard on the radio about the peace agreement rather late in the day and hurried down to the city of Stockholm to share in the jubilation. Many have probably seen pictures of that historic evening. We attracted attention outfitted in our uniforms and many shouted: "The only army the world needs is the Salvation Army." Today, 70 years later, I felt the pulse of history race through me.

On the Concert Hall steps today sat a new generation, lapping up the sun-

Yes, the sun was the same as before, ‘in 1945’. But now on Haymarket (fruit/vegetable, flower stalls)  they shouted with a foreign accent: "Hello there Mister, how are you, come and buy some spinach for your supper."

And Drottninggatan (Queen’s Boulevard) was teeming  with people, beggars, street vendors, artists of all kinds, but I heard no songs of salvation, or jubilation of freedom being sung. And suddenly I recalled what the company director that I met in a Rotary Club meeting in Copenhagen had said; ‘when arriving at Drottninggatan in Stockholm, the Salvation Army has put out a barricade and a large collection box. And, no one passes through without making a contribution (to support the war relief effort).

The box outside the old number 9 SA Corps appears to gape widely in its emptiness.

I took a firmer grip on my walking stick and carried on.

The battle of life has been satisfying and grand.

Commissioner Sven Nilsson 96 years of age

Lives and celebrates life in very active retirement 
in Stockholm; lecturer, expositor, historian, author and tour guide (SA sites)

(Translation; Sven Ljungholm)


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Anonymous said...

An inspiring story to be sure. But, I for one want to express my admiration to you for your 8 year commitment in providing daily posts on this website. 25,000 days of constant commitment to share information. meditations, challenges, music, SA history and news to the general public. But mostly with a focused love and concern for former officers when many of us sensed an absence of concern from the organisation to which thousands of us gave many dedicated years of service!

William Booth got it right: We're still part of the Army family, thanks to your vision and hard work.

SA active Nottingham UK


A Salvation Army treasure. Thank you sharing your brief May 7 diary with us- Blessings as you walk toward a century!