HORDALAND, Norway — The immensity of what has happened in Oslo will take time to sink in.
Watching images flash across the television screen, showing people wounded and an Oslo street in ruins is something Norway won’t forget.
We’ve seen it in London, we’ve seen it in Madrid, and we’ve seen it in New York without really being able to relate to these terrible situations.
But the reality of a tragedy like this is hard to grasp even when it happens within the borders of your own country.
The explosion that hit the center of political power in Norway has turned our capital into something looking like a war scene.
It is a slow and burdened morning in Oslo that is following these tragic events; it is a morning characterized by silent questions and bottomless grief.
Our nation woke up today forced to face the harsh reality of what happened yesterday, and faced with the fact that the real world has landed in Norway.
The bombing in the heart of Oslo killed seven and wounded many others while a related shooting spree at a youth camp left 80 or more dead, most of them teenagers.
The shock in us all is overwhelming today, but we can never even start to imagine the nightmares that were lived for long hours by the youth who found themselves in the midst of the attack at the youth camp on the island, Utøya.
We have heard devastating testimonies from the people who heard the shooter’s voice as he threatened them, and their stories are what rings in the ears of thousands of Norwegians as we will slowly start rebuilding our society.
We lost the innocence that our country has been dulled in when the tragedy hit us yesterday, and even though we still lack information on how this could happen, it is clear that the result was devastation.
Lives were taken. Lives were broken. But as Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said, “We will not let fright control us.”
It was one day, but it was a terrible day. And we will never forget.
Line Hellem is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.