Eleven years after the killings of 77 people by young Norwegian right-wing militants, a national monument was officially opened near the scene of the worst violence in memory of the victims. It was a daunting task, but Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was clearly relieved that the monument had been set up.

The monument consists of 77 bronze pillars, one for each victim of the July 22 attack. They are connected in a winding pattern, extending to Tirifiyoren. There, locals on a boat tried to pull out a scary young member of the Labor Party who had fled the slaughter in an attempt to swim out of the island’s summer camp. Utoya. You can see the island with the monument in the background. Photo: Maverix Media AS / Fredrik Ahlsen

“We need a monument as a country,” Støre said at a weekend ceremony. UtoyakaiaA pier directly opposite Tirifiyoren from the island where 69 young members of the Labor Party of Støre were shot down on July 22, 2011.

Støre described the new, long-delayed monument as “a place where we can always remind us of everything we lost, what happened to our children and grandchildren, and the extremism and hatred of the right wheel. A place where you can learn about the results. “

The shooter, who accused the workers of what he regarded as a liberal immigration policy, is now serving a long prison sentence in a prison on the other side of the same fjord. He first bombed the Norwegian government headquarters complex in Oslo. There, the Labor Party also took control of the government at the time, killing eight people and injuring a few more. He then drove to Utoya’s ferry pier, dressed as a police officer, persuaded the ferry operator to take him to the island, and began the most deadly slaughter in Norway since World War II. .. The names of all his victims are printed on pillars and displayed on a temporary monument to the capital’s government building. When the reconstruction of the complex is finally completed, a permanent monument will also be built there.

Labor Party leader and current Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (who has a rose) apologized for the delay in building the national monument. He is shown here at the location of another monument to the victims of the attack on Utoya. Photo: Statsministerens kontor

Mr. Støre, the Norwegian Foreign Minister at the time of the attack, said he was disappointed that it took a very long time to set up the Utoya monument. The first design of what was on the island was eventually rejected, and then there was much debate over where on the mainland another monument should be placed. Neighbors argued that a long and fierce battle in court against the final chosen location would increase congestion in the area and remind us of the slaughter every day. Their asset value is also believed to have been cut in half since the attack, and the state has so far refused to provide compensation. “This is the gratitude we got for saving 28 lives that day,” a bitter local told the newspaper. Dagsavisen Fremtiden..

Some of the local rescue workers bravely received royal medals on their fateful day, and Prince Haakon attended the opening of the monument on Saturday. Prime Minister Stona also praised their efforts in his remarks at the opening ceremony, arguing that the monument itself was so. “To those who have boats in Tirifiyoren and all their neighbors: you didn’t know what was threatened (those underwater), but went out to help a young man throwing himself into the water. I know it was difficult to live with those memories because I felt that day never released that grip. “He said the monument was” for all of us … With dignity and respect, he said he hopes to be a place, “because we must never forget.”

The outline of this monument shows how the once simple Utoya pier area has changed with a 10-meter-high wall that supports the new road to the monument. Neighbors in the area fought the project for years, but eventually lost in court. Photo: Statsbygg

However, it may take longer for the local wounds to heal, and the monument already costs more than NOK 500 million for planning, delays, construction and statutory costs. Neighbors have also complained that the small gravel road leading to the pier has been transformed into a new paved road reinforced with 10 meters high concrete walls that rise above the monument itself. State officials claim that the vines were finally planted to cover the striking gray walls.

Government officials, including several government ministers (one of whom, Tonji Brena survived the slaughter), the president of the Norwegian parliament, and Astrid Home, the current leader of the Labor Party youth organization AUF, open the weekend. I did my best to the ceremony. All of them expressed their hope that the general public would visit the monument to remember the tragedy “crying and fighting for our fellowship, tolerance and diversity.”

Also, among those who attended the opening, Jens, the 2011 Norwegian Prime Minister of Labor, now the Secretary General of NATO, must pay most attention to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war unleashed in Europe. There was Stortemberg. He told the news agency NTB that he was relieved that the monument was finally set up.

“This was one of the worst terrorist attacks in Europe and an attack on our democracy,” Stoltenberg said. “This monument is about the murdered people, but it’s also a political message that we should never forget and never keep silent. Do everything we can to prevent it from happening again. Must be. “

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund

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