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The terror attacks of 2011-07-22

I wasn't there. However, I was online when a friend of mine in Oslo said "Wow! There was a huge bang and there is smoke". A few minutes later, reports from friends in the area started coming in. I started checking the newspapers. I went to Norwegian TV online and watched live news. As time went by, it was clear it wasn't an accident. We heard about wounded. So far it didn't seem to bad. Then the first reports of dead came. Pictures followed. The magnitude started settling in. What could have been came to mind; In Norway at this time we have what is loosely translated to "common vacation", which means the large populous are all on vacation for 3 weeks. Offices run on skeleton crew. Also, it's summer time. Bomb went off at ~3:25 local time. End of day is 3PM. It was Friday. A lot of people had gone home. The street was mostly empty at that time. Only an hour earlier, and this would have been so much worse. We started settling in that a small number of people were dead.

Then we hear report of shooting at Utøya, a small island 20 miles west. We hear the horrors the children experienced. It's unconfirmed from the police, but we hear reports from the kids there. "Don't call me, he might hear it and come kill me" one of them twitter. My circle of friends realise that one of our friends is there and is hiding. He says he's safe, but there is a lot of chaos, and they haven't caught the guy. Police scramble to get there as soon as possible. The gunman is taken pretty much without a fight. Reports from the island starts coming in. An interviewee reports he saw 25-30 dead. He describes a nightmare where people trying to swim to safety were gunned down. Police confirm 9-10 dead. We know there will be more dead, we just don't know how many. We're thinking "as many as" 30. No-one could imagine it would be 85. So far. There might be people who have drowned, or sunk. Not just people. Children and young adults. People who's only fault is that they believe in a multi-cultural society, and want to make sure the future is safe and free for all, and that people from every culture can be together without hatred.

I am still in shock. I want to cry, but I feel to shocked to. I have heard from my friends and family in the area. Everyone are safe. I am one of the lucky ones, I didn't lose anyone. I am reading anything I can find about it, because I need to understand. It is just incomprehensible. I talk to my friends. We're all feeling the same: shock, sadness, and an indeterminate strength that we will not give in to the fear. We want to keep our openness, where our politicians can walk down the street without being afraid. Where the people have access to our politicians everywhere. That our royal family doesn't have to stop their openness. That democracy will be as democratic as it's always been. We will not give in. I just heard one of the teenagers from Utøya said he will be back next year. THAT is what it means to be Norwegian. Not give in to pressure. It makes me proud to be a Norwegian, and of my fellow countrymen.

Thank you all on behalf of my people (yeah, I'm their queen *wink*) for thinking of us in these hard times. Every single one of us appreciate it.

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