The Nordic Heritage Museum hosted an emotional memorial on Tuesday evening for the victims of Friday’s bombing and shooting in Norway.
With the Norwegian flag at half staff and Norwegian flags in the hands of many in the audience, the Honorary Consul of Norway, Kim Nesselquist, spoke to the crowd. “To mourn and pray and pay respect to the many dead and missing and their families, to give support to the survivors, to the more 70 injured and the people of Norway,” he said. “We are also together to defy terrorism and deny cowardly acts from sick individuals to get to the best of us.”
“My father is from Norway,” says David Kvamme, who visited Ballard from Columbia City for the ceremony. “I’ve been there. They’re good people, proud people, and I’m sure this thing that took place really wounded them, as these things do to countries. It’s a sign in many ways of how we’re missing the point of really caring for each other.”
Attendees were encouraged to write down their memories of Norway and thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and the country. The pages will be compiled into a book and presented to the government of Norway.
With candles in their hands, the solemn crowd sang Amazing Grace near the end of the service. “I wanted to show my support for my relatives, to the country as a whole and especially to families that were experiencing the loss of their children,” Kvamme said, tears in his eyes.
With the museum packed to capacity, dozens paid their respects outside, listening to the memorial over a speaker and leaving roses against a wall.
Reverend Nancy Connor and Reverend Dennis Sepper from Pacific Lutheran University led the group in prayer. “The country of Norway bears fresh wounds of suffering and grief,” Connor prayed. “Surround those who have been shaken by tragedy with a sense of your present love.” Added Dr. Loren Anderson, president of Pacific Lutheran University, “Tonight, we are all Norwegians.”
(Thanks Tim Hunter for your help with photos!)