Friday, August 24, 2012

Three Young Voices On Norwegian Massacre

A judge in Norway ruled Friday that Norwegian Anders Breivik is sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail for the horrific bombing and shooting spree last July that killed 77 people, most of them teenagers at a summer camp. Reports said Breivik claimed his actions were a necessary response to "multiculturalism" and the "Islamisation" of Europe. Last summer, Youth Journalism International's Line Hellem of Hordaland, Norway, wrote movingly of the impact of that terrible day:

Norway Suffering 'Bottomless Grief'

By Line Hellem
Junior Reporter
HORDALAND, Norway -- The immensity of what has happened in Oslo will take time to sink in.
Watching images flash across the television screen, showing people wounded and an Oslo street in ruins is something Norway won’t forget.
We’ve seen it in London, we’ve seen it in Madrid, and we’ve seen it in New York without really being able to relate to these terrible situations.
But the reality of a tragedy like this is hard to grasp even when it happens within the borders of your own country.
The explosion that hit the center of political power in Norway has turned our capital into something looking like a war scene.
It is a slow and burdened morning in Oslo that is following these tragic events; it is a morning characterized by silent questions and bottomless grief.

Other young writers, Madison Pollard from England and Mariechen Puchert from South Africa, weighed in with compassion. We're reprinting a portion of their pieces here. To read the full text, click on the headline.

By Madison Pollard
Junior reporter
LONDON, England -- The world is in shock, hardly a surprise, as no one can say that they expected such horrific events to happen in such a peaceful country.
Norway, one of the founding members of the United Nations, hasn’t seen dramatic events on such a scale since World War II.
Its peacefulness enhances the world’s surprise and horror at the bombing and shootings that shook Norway on Friday.

Norway Gunman Stole Lives, Hope From Many

By Mariechen Puchert
Senior reporter
CAPETOWN, Western Cape, South Africa -- I live on an island. Like the Norwegian island of Utoeya, it is locked in, seemingly safe.
Surrounding the little bubble on which a few thousand students work towards their future, lies a sprawling industrial mesh. To our left, a large academic hospital. Immediately surrounding us, a kind of aura of long hours and studies.
The first I hear of the Norwegian shooting is from an email to my smartphone much like how the victims on Utoeya reportedly received news of the bombing in Oslo shortly before the tragedy would migrate to them.
In the hours that come to pass, newsfeeds and twitter feeds have one thing to say: How horrible. How very, very sad.
We hear that the alleged gunman claims his actions were “atrocious, but necessary.” It appears to have been some kind of political statement against open immigration and Islamism.
I try, but I fail to understand what goal the gunman thinks he has reached.

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