Never forget Utøya

A year ago today a lone gunman first created a diversion in downtown Oslo to occupy the police, and then went out to the island of Utøya, where the social-democratic youth were holding a political summer camp. There he shot dead 69 people.

Norway has not let itself become a police state. They value their freedoms so much, that they have just carried on, and put the murderer on the stand as they would any other murderer. They did not ramp up "security" (okay, they already have cameras all over the place), they did not do what the murderer wanted, to force the "foreign elements" out of Norway. They remained unshaken.

Today, many cities in Scandinavia are holding memorial services. The Oslo service was broadcast on Swedish TV, I listened to the premier, Jens Stoltenberg, give an excellent speech. July, normaly one of the lightest and happiest months in Norway, will retain a black spot, July 22. "We are aware of those who are in mourning, who are hard put to deal with day-to-day life. We are there, and we will reach out, and speak with you."

In Lund a small group of young people gathered in front of city hall on the large square around a red flag: "We will never forget Utøya. We will not let ourselves be conquered". They had storm candles and red roses, and just stood in silence. Passersby stopped, and joined in for a few minutes, before carrying on.

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