Terrorist attacks and Memory
At Johan Nygaardsvold’s square, there is a beautiful monument with the names of the victims of the 22 July 2011 attack written in glass. It shone beautifully on the bright September day when I visited a few days ago. The buildings around the square are boarded up and will soon be demolished, they would have been the most desolate sight if it was not for the glorious light, the leaves, the reflection.
Can reflecting bring peace and healing ?
22 July 2011 – Day of Attacks
14.36 The centre of Oslo is disrupted by a huge explosion, damaging the offices of the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, and the country’s largest newspaper VG.
16.57 Two hours after the explosion in Oslo an unknown man, dressed as a police officer, arrives on Utøya island outside Oslo and travels to a youth camp organised by the ruling Norwegian Labour Party. He opens fire on the group of teenagers, who have gathered after hearing noises on the shoreline.
18.00 Police arrive on the island and proceed to apprehend the lone gunman, who has yet to be identified. The man does not resist arrest. Late in the evening Mr Stoltenberg, the Norwegian Prime Minster, gives a press conference in which he labels the attack upon the youth camp “especially brutal – an attack of cowardice.”
23 July Mr Stoltenberg speaks of a “national tragedy” as the death toll continues to climb. 77 people are eventually reported as having lost their lives, 69 from the Utøya shootings. Anders Behring Breivik, 32, is identified by Norwegian media as the man arrested by police. Mr Stoltenberg indicated that Breivik was part of a larger organisation, and not acting alone.