A Nationwide Grief

In my previous post I wrote about taking a step back from all of the terrible happenings in the world. This post is about when we need to stay put, when we need to remember. Today is the 22 of July, and it is five years ago since a terrorist killed 77 people because of their political views.

Ask a Norwegian, any Norwegian, about 22 of July she will be able to tell you exactly what she did that day. Exactly what happened in the moment when she first heard the news. 22 of July is Norway’s 9/11. I remember I was scrolling through Facebook. I thought it was some kind of sick joke, a bomb could not possibly have gone off in Oslo. No way. Not here, not in peaceful little Norway.

But a bomb did go off. And a man, whom I will not name, (because I hate how everyone knows his but none of the victims’) made his way from the site and to an island where a large group of politically active youths had gathered. He marched through their camp, like a soilder, and killed 69 of them, injuring 66. I cannot put into words the shock Norway was in. Cars pulled over all over the country because the drivers had to focus on the radio. A nation gathered in front of the TV, a nation shook their heads no. No.

Two days later we took to the streets. Some pain is too great to handle alone.

He was ruled sane. I find it astounding, the amount of damage one single human being can cause. The way we manage to justify the most gruesome acts. Horrible things happen every day, but we do not understand until it happens to us. Five years ago today, Norway understood. We will never forget. We will tell their stories. We will say their names. Now, and for as long as the people left behind live, we will feel a nationwide grief.

12 thoughts on “A Nationwide Grief

  1. I remember this and how awful it was to kill those young people as he did. They were Labour Party people too weren’t they? I found that sad as I work for the UK version of the party, so it’s sad that they were killed for their beliefs x

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  2. We will never forget this day, that’s for sure ❤ I can still hear the woman in the clothing store shouting that we should evacuate and I remember the dusty wind in my eyes as I ran to find my mum. And all the rumours at the tram about dead people in the streets…but so many people had it so much more dramatic (and worse!) than me, so I can't complain. But it certainly was a memorable day.

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    1. Yeahm it really was. Everyone had a memorable day that day, but the people in the nearby enviornment of the bomb will of course remember it as very dramatic. I myself, remember it mostly as a horrible, horrible day because of the fear of who had done it, and the sadness because so many people lost their lives.

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  3. So sad. I agree with you that naming the perpetrator is only counter-productive and an insult to the victims. Recent events in Munich have shown the influence these terrible people can have on others.

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    1. These days it seems like it happens more and more. I feel like I read about a new tragedy every day. If it is not a guy driving a truck through a crowd, it is a bomb threat, if it is not a bomb threat it is a hostage situation. Thank goodness there’s also news of PokemonGo and people helping each other.

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