I heart my homeland — why can’t we be more like this?
The bracelet, marked with the word UTOEYA in capital letters, was given to those attending last summer’s Labour Party youth camp on the island. Vegard Groeslie Wennesland hasn’t taken his off since the day far-right militant Anders Behring Breivik shot dead 69 teenagers and adults. Hours earlier the 33-year old had planted a car bomb outside the prime minister’s office in central Oslo, killing eight.
In a nation of five million where most people either knew one of the victims or know someone who did, the attacks have cut deep. Survivors - including more than 240 wounded - still get flashbacks, panic attacks or the strange feeling they are spectators of their own lives. Young people have become more involved in politics.
But it is striking too what “July 22,” as the attacks are commonly called in Norway, has not done. It has not made Norwegians more fearful of one another, or triggered calls for tougher anti-terrorist measures. Instead, many Norwegians say it has reaffirmed their faith in a society they like to see as liberal, tolerant and egalitarian.
SPECIAL REPORT: Life after the Norway massacre