I was lucky enough to be invited to this Facebook-group today. As a result, I too formulated a letter to some journalists:
I am not looking to get published, I simply want to tell you a little story. Yesterday, 25.7.2011 several hundreds of thousands Norwegians gathered in the streets to honor the fallen, carrying roses and filled with love for a warm and including nation. (Really, look at this.)
But first, let me explain my background in brief: I am a dual citizen who was born in the US by Norwegian parents. I spent my first year in the states and the rest in Sweden and Norway apart from the some years I went to college/worked in America from 1999 to 2004. I happened to spend that last mentioned period of time in the heart of America – in Norman Oklahoma (Zacarias Moussaoui was my next door neighbour, I later on would find out). This means I have met a people that a few years back had experienced the terrible Oklahoma-bombing by one of their own citizens, I have experienced to take part in a society during and after the 9/11-attacks, and now I have watched the Norwegian people during and after the Oslo/Utøya terror attacks.
So, to the agenda of this letter:
One huge difference between the 9/11-attacks and the Oslo/Utøya-attacks is that the latter was a one-man-job (it appears) and he was one of our own citizens. I am sure this also creates a different state of mind throughout the country and the way the media and the politicians handle the entire situation: Living in the states after 9/11 was not only terrifying because so many had lost so much, but the scare of more attacks was luring daily. But as a citizen, a member of the society, I though the American people handled their terror attacks with a warmth that could never be followed any other place in the world. I was wrong! Here, strangers hug strangers and very few have turned to hate (look at this!) The public display of love for each other, for the country and even the sympathy for the terrorists own family has been extreme here, and our leaders have motivated us in stead of scared us since the terror occurred. I wish you journalists out there would spend even more time learning about this culture and our people, as it is quite impressive – and the way our politicians work/act and our court system works makes much more sense if you know a bit more about us.
Choose love. We have.
Here is an example of the greatness this people has shown (“why revenge isn’t the answer, nor an option”).
Thank you for sharing the stories!
By the way: inside of me I carry the miracle of life, and her due date is next week. I know the country she is born in to is very different then it was just a few days ago.