We went to Norway to visit good friends a while ago.
Norway is an utterly beautiful country. Fjords, mountains, glaciers, and people who were so welcoming it was difficult to leave. But leave we did. We arrived home the day before the terrible shootings, and explosions in Oslo and on Utøya. Anders Breivik, a right wing extremist, had killed so many, and in a peaceful country that hadnt seen horrific violence like this since WW2 the aftermath was terrible. The entire country mourned and people cried. The innocence of Norway had somehow been taken by one man.
I grew up in England in a time in the 70s and 80s... where every day you would read of some shooting or bombing in connection with the IRA. I remember Enniskillen, Birmingham, Mountbatten, London... I remember by Dad who was in the Royal Air Force being put on alert, I remember my hubby being delayed on the tube out of London because of Security alerts. I was used to it. It scared me that hubby worked near St Paul's Cathedral, and I recall the doors of his building being blown open by the Baltic Exchange bomb.
Tragedies like 9/11 and 7/7 (the Underground bombings in London) were horrific. They stopped the world in their steps. And suddenly we had new enemies. Behind closed doors there is a silent army of intelligence officers helping to keep us safe. In public there are our armed forces keeping us safe.
To hear that a member of our armed forces died yesterday in a public and horrifying way was awful. Past awful. Disgusting, horrifying, sensless.
The advice today, according to BBC reports, given to our soldiers, sailors, our airmen... don't wear your uniform in public - it makes you a target. How sad is this? God. Those kids, (and most of the ones who die are younger than me), would die for our country yet we live in a place where it isn't safe for them to be able to proudly wear their uniforms in public?
It doesn't make it any easier if you are used to seeing people die through sensless terrorist attacks... in the name of religion, or oil, or whatever the excuse is.
My thoughts are with the family of the man who died yesterday.
Excuse my ramblings...