As one contemplates the violence and misery which plague this planet traversing the cosmos every day, it is staggering, surreal and overwhelming. Life was never meant to be this way.
What happened in Norway yesterday is a sad reminder of how quickly tragedy can occur. Life, especially the lives of children, can end so abruptly by the hands of another human being.
According to the latest report, the small Utoeya Island in Tyrifjord Lake northwest of Oslo where young people 14-18 years old were attending a Labor Party-sponsored event became a horrific scene of carnage. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said, “my youth paradise, now, it’s been changed to hell.”
The death count stands at 84 at Utoeya. Seven are confirmed dead in Oslo where two hours before the Utoeya massacre bombs rocked government buildings.
Police officials believe one man is responsible for both terrorist acts. Anders Behring Breivik is a 32-year-old Norwegian Christian Nationalist. His motivation for these heinous acts may have been political, but Mr. Breivik has said that he will explain himself.
How can one explain mass murder? How can one explain cold-blooded murder of children? There is no explanation that would agree with reality as it is defined by civilized society.
On this day of sadness in Norway, may our thoughts and prayers be with the parents who are grieving the loss of their precious children. Also, we remember the other victims who died and those who have been injured in this dual attack.
This marathon of violence which rages over our world must stop. We must do whatever we can to bring an end to such barbaric acts. We must pledge ourselves to civilization, to civilized behaviour and tolerance of all peoples on this globe.
G. D. Williams © 2011
Christian Science Monitor
A Twitter account for Breivik has surfaced, though it only has one post, this quote from philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.” The tweet was posted on July 17.
Mr Stoltenberg had been due to visit the camp on Saturday. Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who visited the camp on Thursday, praised those who were attending.
“The country has no finer youth than young people who go for a summer camp doing politics, doing discussions, doing training, doing football, and then they experience this absolutely horrendous act of violence,” he said.
Saturday, July 29, 2011 Update
The death toll was reduced this week to 77 from the original 91 reported earlier.
Pictures of the of the 77 who died in the Norway Shooting