Norway Part XII

July 22nd.

The day was cool, even a bit chilly. Paul and I were sitting in the cabin with a fire blazing, reading I think, when Lillebeth knocked on the glass door. We stood up as she burst into the room.

“Something terrible has happened,” she said a bit flushed from having run the whole way over.

What terrible thing could happen in this spectacularly peaceful place?

“A gunman has opened fire on students in their summer camp on the island of Utøya. It’s madness! It’s happening right now!”

“You saw it on T.V.? But, why?”

“No one knows why. It’s insanity!” God knows how many he has killed and it’s not over yet. I must go back!”

The rest of the news came in snippets throughout the day… and days that followed.

Dressed as a policeman.

The victims, teenagers.

30…no, 44, no… 70…death toll rising.

Bombings in Oslo of government buildings right near where Marne (Lillebeth’s daughter-in-law) takes the bus everyday to work. People killed there, too. Thank God Marne’s here.

Bombing and shootings linked.

Right wing extremist.

Didn’t agree with Norway’s policy of letting refugees resettle in Norway.

And we all know that Norway is known for its generosity towards and tolerance of immigrants, its international proven stance as a peaceful country.

We walked along the paths between houses and cabin in a state of disbelief. We talked about it with our Norwegian family. Then we didn’t talk about it.
We–at one with everyone else in Norway–were in a state of shock.