Friday July 22nd, 2011 – A Day We Will Never Forget

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have started this post several times, but have not find the right way to write how I feel. At times, I do not even know how I feel. I have so many thoughts and feelings, it is hard to share exactly what is in my heart and my head right now. However, I know that I need to share this. There are words to say, and I need to say them. So here it is.

Friday July 22nd, a bomb went off in Oslo. At that moment I was safely in Stavanger, finishing up my final day at work, before taking a week off for some vacationing and rest.
We were not sure exactly what had happened. Images on some of the online newspapers showed familiar buildings, all windows blown to pieces. Was it a bomb ? Could it be something else ? Was it an act of terrorism ? What was going on ? And more importantly, why ?
I went home, finished packing. I headed towards the airport, because I was supposed to catch a plane to Oslo, Gardermoen that evening. I was to spend the weekend at a friends place in Sarpsborg.

I kept the radio on as I drove to the airport, trying, like everyone else, to comprehend what exactly was happening in Oslo this Friday.
I went through security, spoke to my sister on the phone. It was official, it was a bomb that blew out all the windous in the financial district in Oslo. I started to feel a little unsure. Was I being a little stupid for flying in so close to a chaos that was not yet under control ? I wasn’t going in to Oslo, I told myself. I should be safe. They wouldn’t let us fly if they thought it was unsafe.

The plane leaving for Oslo 25 minutes before mine was boarding. A man working for a fairly large newspaper walked by me. He was on the phone. There were rumors of shootings at the AUF youth camp at Utøya. That didn’t make any sense to me. It could not possibly be true. What the f**k was going on ?
I spoke to my sister again before I boarded my plane. The police had confirmed the shootings. I realised then, that those kids on that island must have been the main target. Create chaos in one direction, go unnoticed in the other direction. Create Hell. The act of a monster.

I landed in Oslo. It was quiet. A few extra security guards were placed at the doors. Other than that, there did not seem that the chaos had reached this place yet.
I spoke to my mother. Numbers of dead had started appearing. It was looking dark. What a gloomy day this had become. Everyone was in shock. Everyone was trying to comprehend what was happening, putting together puzzle pieces in their minds. This day, we were living in a tragedy.
One we had never thought we would have to live through. These things don’t happen here. That is what we thought.

The discussions went from “what is happening ?”, to “who is responsible for this ?”. What if it was another country ?, or an extremist terrorist group ? or what if it was done by one of our own ?


I will not speak this man’s name, because he is not worth the letters and space. What he did was evil, and his reasons were pointless. What he did and the reasons why, will NOT change anything in the favour of his so-called cause. Our most “extreme” political party, was not even close to extreme enough for this man. There is no support for this man’s causes in our country. This man will soon be forgotten from our minds, though the consequences of his actions will haunt our history for life.
I did not lose a loved one this day. All my loved ones were safe and unharmed. I did not know any of the children at Utøya. I do however know people who have lost their friends, and who’s children will never return home.
It hurts me to think of the pain these people must be going through. The people who will never again see their children and their friends again, the people who survived, but their friends did not. I can not imagine or comprehend what these people have gone through, and they will have to go through in times still to come.
I can only say that my heart is with them.
There is nothing more I can say or do.
I am so sorry for your losses.
I wish that this was all a dream, and we could wake up to find that it was only a bad nightmare. But many mornings have come and gone, so all we can do now is rebuild what is broken.

We will rebuild what we can, and we will put our hearts in to it. We will not hate, because all we have left now is time. Time will not be wasted on this man, time will be spent on those who deserve it, and those who need it.
Our country has always been safe, and free. I have never felt unsafe here. I have never been scared here.
On Friday, I was scared for the first time. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I know I am not the only one, who has wowed to make sure that we will NEVER have to feel that way ever again.

In loving memory of the people lost, the people who have lost, and the people who refuse to be scared ❤

x Jenny Mathilde Meland

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