King Harald V

Address to the Nation on the Bombing Tragedies in Norway

delivered 22 July 2011


[English version based on Google translation]

Norwegian Language Version

Norway has been hit by a national tragedy. What we fervently hoped would never happen, has yet happened.

At Sundvolden today we met young people and their families who shared their own horror stories with us. They have lived through a day that none of us can put ourselves in. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy goes to all those affected, in Oslo and Utya.

Police, rescue teams, medical staff and volunteers have been fighting to save lives and have made a heroic effort for us all, even at the risk of their lives. All of us are affected by this incomprehensible tragedy, struck in disbelief at the news of the growing number of dead.

Amid all the pain and confusion, we've seen the Prime Minister, the Government, and ministries dealing with the situation in an excellent manner.

Both as individuals and as a nation, we will take a long time to digest and process the impact, grief, and feelings. In this process, we need each other. Across the country, people have lost someone they love. There are many children and young people who are afraid today. They must be taken special care of. For many, it is important to be together, while others need quiet reflection. It is good that the country's churches are open to all who want to light candles and need a place to be. It's also great that local authorities and NGOs have offered to those who feel the need to come together.

There is still much we do not know about the background of yesterday's horrific events, and it is important that we let the managers work to clarify things. But something we know: The actions carried out in Oslo and Utya are an attack on Norwegian society that we value so highly. And they are an attack on the core of the Norwegian democracy.

It is when our nation is put to the test that the strength, solidarity, and courage of the Norwegian people is made clear. Now, we stand firmly by our values.

I remain convinced in the belief that freedom is stronger than fear.

I remain convinced in the belief of an open Norwegian democracy and society.

I remain convinced in the belief of our ability to live freely and safely in our own country.


Norwegian Language Version

Page Updated: 7/25/23

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