In memory of those lost 22. July 2011.

Today is the day. The first anniversary of the Oslo bombing and Utøya massacre. When one man took it upon himself to detonate a bomb and go on a shooting spree that cost 77 people their lives, and wounded about a hundred more.

One man pulled this off while the rest of the country, the rest of the world, were stunned and ill-prepared. A man with a warped view of the world and definite sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies. Traits. Whatever. Terminology is not my strong point.

While it is comforting to distance ourselves by claiming he’s a monster, a lone wolf, an exception, there are several people in our own country that sympathise with this madman and/or try to cast the blame elsewhere. “He wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for blah blah.” I believe otherwise. He is not right in the head, that much is clear, but beyond all that he is still a man. A right-wing Christian religious extremist with more than a hint of paranoia, lost in a world divorced from reality where others who were of like mind enforced his beliefs and helped him convince himself that his ’cause’ was just. He was not alone. He was one of us.

All extremism is dangerous, be it left-wing, right-wing, religious, ideological. Extremists lose touch with the real world and focus solely on their own perceptions, ignoring reason and argument. They claim they have the freedom of speech to say what they want, which is true, yet they also try to deny others the freedom of speech to argue against them, which is bollocks.

Enough about that though. Anger and sorrow tend to make me rant even more than usual. The idea of this post is to honour the memory of those that are now gone because of this man. I won’t say his name, because he does not deserve that much. I’d rather we remember the names of those we lost.

I still remember that day all too well. The disbelief at hearing about the bomb. The frantic calls to reach everyone I knew in the area to make sure they were okay. The helplessness as the terrorist went about his rampage. So much loss. So much pain. So much grief. It hurts to remember, but remember we must.

I am proud of how Norway handled itself after this disaster. All Norwegians, new and native, young and old, stood together in grief and comfort, and in protest against a madman’s delusions. He sought to break us apart. I think he ended up forging us closer together. Let us keep showing him he’s wrong. Let us show those who think he has a point that he does not. Do not let extremists on either side dictate our debates and relationships. We are stronger than they are. They know it. They fear our strength. So they lash out against us, against our friends, against our family, against our children, because they want to break us. We have shown them that is not going to happen.

Just two days ago another tragedy happened in Aurora, Colorado. Another man coldly started shooting inside a movie theatre at the premiere of the latest Batman movie: The Dark Knight Rises. He shot 70 people, and 12 of them died. He surrendered to the police when they arrived. I have yet to see anyone mention a motive for this heinous act of terrorism, but if anyone wants to enlighten me, feel free. While arguments are happening, like in any time of great anger and sorrow, I have also seen a heartening amount of support coming together already. To anyone affected by this tragedy, know you are not alone.

My thoughts go out to all the victims, and all their friends and family.

After the break I have added a full list of those we lost in Oslo the 22. July 2011 (the list for Aurora is not yet complete as of this writing). Because they deserve to be remembered.

Aleksander Aas Eriksen, 16

Anders Kristiansen, 18

Andreas Edvardsen, 18

Andreas Dalby Grønnesby, 17

Andrine Bakkene Espeland, 17

Anne Lise Holter, 51

Bano Abobakar Rashid, 18

Bendik Rosnæs Ellingsen, 18

Birgitte Smetbak, 15

Carina Borgund, 18

Diderik Aamodt Olsen, 19

Eivind Hovden, 15

Elisabeth Trønnes Lie, 16

Emil Okkenhaug, 15

Espen Jørgensen, 17

Eva Kathinka Lütken, 17

Even Flugstad Malmedal, 18

Fredrik Lund Schjetne, 18

Gizem Dogan, 17

Gunnar Linaker, 23

Guro Vartdal Håvoll, 18

Hanne Ekroll Løvlie, 30

Hanne Anette Balch Fjalestad, 43

Hanne Kristine Fridtun, 19

Hanne Marie Orvik Endresen, 61

Henrik Rasmussen, 18

Henrik André Pedersen, 27

Håkon Ødegaard, 17

Håvard Vederhus, 21

Ida Beathe Rogne, 17

Ida Marie Hill, 34

Ingrid Berg Heggelund, 18

Isabel Victoria Green Sogn, 17

Ismail Haji Ahmed, 19

Johannes Buø, 14

Jon Vegard Lervåg, 32

Kai Hauge, 32

Karar Mustafa Qasim, 19

Karin Elena Holst, 15

Kevin Daae Berland, 15

Kjersti Berg Sand, 26

Lejla Selaci, 17

Lena Maria Bergum, 19

Margrethe Bøyum Kløven, 16

Maria Maagerø Johannesen, 17

Marianne Sandvik, 16

Modupe Ellen Awoyemi, 15

Mona Mahamed Abdinur, 18

Monica Elisabeth Bøsei, 45

Monica Iselin Didriksen, 18

Pamela (Porntip) Ardam, 21

Rafal Mohamad Jamil Jamil, 20

Rolf Christopher Johansen Perreau, 25

Ronja Søttar Johansen, 17

Rune Havdal, 43

Ruth Benedichte Vatndal Nilsen, 15

Sharidyn Svebakk-Bøhn, 14

Silje Stamneshagen, 18

Silje Merete Fjellbu, 17

Simon Sæbø, 18

Snorre Haller, 30

Sondre Furseth Dale, 17

Sondre Kjøren, 17

Steinar Jessen, 16

Sverre Flåte Bjørkavåg, 28

Synne Røyneland, 18

Syvert Knudsen, 17

Tamta Lipartelliani, 23

Tarald Kuven Mjelde, 18

Thomas Margido Antonsen, 16

Tina Sukuvara, 18

Tore Eikeland, 21

Torjus Jakobsen Blattmann, 17

Tove Åshill Knutsen, 56

Trond Berntsen, 51

Victoria Stenberg, 17

Åsta Sofie Helland Dahl, 16

All names and ages taken from this memorial page, which I found very touching.

Til alle norske som fremdeles er med, så kan jeg anbefale å se på TV2’s minneside.

~John Erik Tøvik


Posted on July 22, 2012, in Personal and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’ll just say I fully approve of this message.

  2. I remember that day. I remember thinking “Oh God, Wulf”. Followed by well…the usual horrified reaction, I suppose. I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t realize that today was the anniversary, until I saw your post.

  3. I remember watching CNN in horror that day. As a mother, my heart sunk to the floor thinking of everyone who lost a loved one due to one man’s insanity.
    This post was a wonderful memorial to the 77 souls who departed that day. May they rest in peace.

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