In news stories of the last few days, we learned of tragedies in Norway and of the deaths of more than 90 individuals. A lone gunman, it would seem, is responsible for a bombing in Oslo and the slaughter of dozens of youths camped on an island. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24oslo.html
In light of this senseless slaughter, it is difficult not to think of Berit Westergaard Bjørlo--our yearlong visitor from Norway who returned to her country a little more than a month ago. We sent her our sympathy, and she responded:
Thank you so much for expressing your sympathy this way. The unbelievable tragedy effects our small country deeply. It feels especially heartbreaking that so many young persons got killed, injured and traumatized.
The first aftermath is marked by an atmosphere of shock, numbness and grief, but also by a deep sense of community. We hope that what has happened won't change our society to be less open and democratic, but rather appeal to work to stabilize these values.
Thanks again. Berit