It was the mid 1990s, and Diana and I were making a cross country road trip with Norwegian cousin Oyvind Mydland and his wife Ann Elisa. We started in Washington DC and ended in San Diego,CA. The purpose of the trip was to fulfill Ovyind’s desire to connect with some Norwegian American relatives.
Along the way we visited family in Virginia, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada and California.
While in Kansas, we talked with a young shirt tailed relative who belonged to a dance group of one sort or another. He told us of a trip his group made to one of the Baltic States – I don’t remember which one, I think it was Lithuania.
The young man told us of the trip, told us about the people they met, and as I recall showed some pictures.
He also told us how some of the men called them aside on a matter of great concern …
You see, this was in the mid 1990s, just a few years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Baltic States were part of that Soviet Union and were under the boot of the Soviet armies.
The concern these men had was for their children, and what would become of them if the Russians were to return. They were asking the Americans for help and assurance for the safety of their children.
We now hear of concern the Russians will again invade and take over one or more of the Baltic States as they’ve done it in Ukraine.
I wonder these many years later … what are these people now thinking? Do they have the same fears as then? The children, some of whom are probably adults … are they now fearful and perhaps preparing to defend their nation against the Russians?
Do they have any confidence that America will intervene in any meaningful way?
Just yesterday, the day after I posted this about Russia and the Baltic states, I noticed that someone from Estonia had looked at my article – very curious, I have no idea who read it or why.
Don Johnson – March 2014