'July 22nd is the day Norway will not forget'
Top Norwegian politicians attended a memorial service at government headquarters on Wednesday to mark the fourth anniversary of the attacks by Anders Behring Breivik on Oslo and the the island of Utøya.
As part of the national programme to honour the victims of the July 22nd 2011 attacks, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and former prime minister Jens Stoltenberg spoke at the memorial service at government headquarters while the Bishop of Oslo, Ole Christian Kvarme, presided over a service in Oslo Cathedral.
“They were children, grandchildren, parents, sisters, brothers, spouses and girlfriends. They were relatives, friends, neighbors and colleagues. Today, four years after, we stand with you who lost the most precious you had. They should not be forgotten, we remember them with love,” Prime Minister Solberg said in her speech at the memorial of the fourth anniversary of the attacks.
Former prime minister and current NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said, “I experienced as prime minister an attack on the country I led and the party I led. The anniversary is therefore something with which I have a very close relationship.”
“I think Norway has shown strength since the attacks,” said Stoltenberg.
“It is easy to say that it is only words, but in this context it plays a role. We have always been a society characterised by trust and openness. We still are.”
“July 22nd is the day Norway will not forget. Not for the evil that struck us, but to remember that we must meet evil with resistance and plan for a good future,” the Bishop of Oslo said in his sermon.
Crown Princess Mette Marit and the Bishop of Oslo, Ole Christian Kvarme, arrive at the memorial service. Photo: Audun Braastad/NTB scanpix
“Grief is the price of love. In the book ‘A Day In History’ one of the Utøya survivors, who lost her brother, says that grief is "proof that he was loved" - both by her and others,” said Kvarme.
Crown Princess Mette Marit was present during the service, along with several other Norwegian dignitaries.
Anders Behring Breivik, who is serving a 21-year prison sentence, confessed to the bomb attack at government headquarters that killed eight people and a shooting rampage at a youth camp on Utøya island off the capital, Oslo, where he murdered 69 others.