Oslo in my Heart

My vacations started yesterday and I had planned to leave town right after work to go see my dad and my sisters for a week, but as you can understand I am still in Oslo.

Once the bomb(s) went of and the news started ticking in about a bomb attack in quiet and calm Oslo(!!!) – I was “paralysed”. I had no chance (or will) to leave the computer, leave the television. I had to find out what had happened. I had to find out news about my friends. People, close and near to me, soon started posting on facebook, writing emails and sms asking me if I was ok or calling in to let me know that they were ok. One called desperately asking me if I was ok. He was 2 blocks from the bomb and had helped carrying wounded out of the buildings. Fear grew in me.

As if the bombing was not enough, Norway was hit by 2 terror attacks yesterday.
A singler shooter executed 84 children and young persons attending a political summercamp.  600 young persons participated to this camp. Most of them are young. Some even down to 10 – 11 years of age – spending a week of their summer holiday to meet friends and discuss political interest. The participants are represented from the whole country, hence the whole country has been affected by this.

These actions were so horrible – the Norwegian people immediately went to social media to keep eachother updated on status and show solidarity with the persons that has been injured, those that has lost their lives and to the parents and their family. The Norwegian people has gathered on this day – in shock – we have shown that we support eachother and that we care about eachother in the aftermath of the horrible events of the bombing and the shooting of 22.07.2011 

Oslo downtown was soon closed down and evacuated by the police. People were asked to stay away from the centre, so that the police could secure the site and make sure there were no undetonated bombs left.

Oslo city closed down

Hence I never left the city yesterday. My sister and I decided going today instead, but then we woke up to even more shocking news today. The death toll was no longer 20 confirmed as when we went to bed, but almost 90 dead. 90 dead in one single day – in 2 horrible events that will mark Norway in ways we still dont know.

I decided I did not want to leave my city today.
I wanted to be with my friends.
I want to be in my city.
I want to grieve with my fellow citizens.
I want to be a part of this day in Oslo
I want to take in the shock and the horror of yesterdays actions.
I want to be here…

so that I NEVER forget this horrible day. so that I can carry this in my heart and feel the sympathy and the solidarity that is so important in a situation like this. so that I can be a part of preventing something like this to happen again…

I have spent the day with friends – downtown. Walking in the streets surrounding the explotion area.

We have spent the day in a café outside the areas that is still closed off for general public. We spent some time walking around, watching the devastation and the flowers that people have put down by every roadblock in the area around the explotion sit and outside every church.

People paying their respect to the dead and injured and the families and friends.

The city has military guarding the closed off areas and the parliament building. Stores and Restaurants in the area close to the explotion are all closed. In several buildings the firealarm is still ringing.
People are crying. People look defeated. People hug eachother in the streets. Some are curious, walking around with cameras – documenting the reactions they have to the horrible events, taking pictures of shattered glasses, broken windows, roadblocks…
But most of all – people are together today. People spend this day to show that they care about eachother and about what has happened.

Throughout the day rain fell in masses. Sometimes the sun shone through the layers of clouds, but mostly the rain was pooring down. The angels are crying with us on this day.

Witness comments

– We were 30-40 people in the group that I was in. When he was done there were 5 left. I survived playing dead. I felt the warmth from his gun close to my head. He shot everyone that looked like they were alive.

– People that are first hand witnesses have started posting in their blogs about their experiences these past days. One of them is the viceleader of the youthparty AUF, Prableen Kaur. She writes in her blog about her experience at Utøya.

Hell at Utøya (Norwegian Only)
We had gathered to recieve news about the Oslo bombing. Then he starts shooting at us. WTF? Why does the police shoot at us?
I managed to get into one of the rooms in the buildings around us. We were many in there. We heard shots. We became even more scared. I cried. I understood nothing.We  jumped out the window and ran into the forest to hide. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. I hoped God was looking down at me. I called my mom and I said to her that we may not see eachother again. I heard the fear in her voice. She cried. That hurt a lot. I send a text message to my dad. I told him I love him. We heard more gunshots. My dad called me. I said I love him. He told me he and my brother were on their way to meet me when I got back to mainland.  So many feelings. So much fear. A man came. He said he was from the police. I just stayed down. Someone screamed that he had to proove it. He started shooting. I just stayed down. Thought. This is the end. This is where I die. I played dead. I stayed down at least one hour. On my phone messages and calles kept coming in. I pretended I was dead. I saw bodies all around me. I saw blod and fear. I decided to get up. I was laying on a corpse. Two bodies laid on top of me. I was guarded by angels.

There is a lot more to the story than this. I have cut the story about half way. Prableen made it. She got over to the main land and she was reunited with her family. She lost many friends, but some had made it.

Mona, a mother of one of the kids that made it writes in her blog:

To you that planned to kill my daughter,
Until now you have killed 84 young lives. We all fear that there will be more.
I am inmensely happy that my daughter came home to me physically unhurt, but she sits glued to the TV, she cries and constantly repeates that the sound of the shots stays in her head. Some of her friends are not accounted for. Others no longer exist…

This is just a terribly sad day for Oslo and for Norway.

I have needed to be in Oslo this day… Oslo is in my heart. Utøya is in my heart.

Tomorrow we will learn the names of those dead. So many has lost their most loved ones. Almost 100 people – most of them young and some just children – dead by the hands of a crazy man..
It is unbelievable. But it is here. Surrounding us.

Maria Mena shared this song for free on the net – to comfort those in pain.
Mitt Lille land. My small country..

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