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Citizenship

Norway Pays Tribute to Victims 22/7 Terror Attacks

Friday marks the five-year anniversary of two attacks by a lone-wolf terrorist in Norway. The tragedy left 77 dead and hundreds of others scarred for life.

The fifth anniversary was observed around the country with flowers, services, and other events. Prime Minister Erna Solberg called the day “one of the darkest days in Norwegian history.”

Solberg, Crown Prince Haakon, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit laid wreaths at the government offices where right-wing political extremist Anders Behring Breivik set off a car bomb that killed eight before shooting 69 others at a summer camp hosted by the Labour Party.

They also attended a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral with the victims’ families and friends where the names of all the victims were read aloud.

“We still see traces of the terrorist acts,” said Solberg. “The missed ones will always be there. Time does not heal all wounds.”

The attacks shocked the entire nation, and there are estimates that one in four people were affected through connections with families, friends, or acquaintances of the victims.

The summer camp victims were all young members of the Labour Party, and were specifically targeted for their political beliefs. One Norwegian official called them “global citizens” for their interest in the world beyond Norway’s borders.

“Today we also send our thoughts to those affected by these and other attacks,” Solberg said. “The terrorists' ideologies may be different, but they speak the same language. Weapons and violence are their principal tools.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Norway's prime minister at the time of the attacks, said he has painful memories of that day.

"It hurts to hear all the names read out," Stoltenberg said. "But it's also good to be with other people who were affected that day, and we give each other support and comfort."

Several communities are holding their own ceremonies and dedicating monuments to local victims, as well as standing in solidarity across social media.