Norway massacre anniversary: Remembrance, defiance one year on


Norwegian King Harald (R) and Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (2nd R) attend a ceremony near the damaged government building in Oslo on July 22, 2012, to mark the first anniversary of twin attacks that killed 77 people in Oslo and on Utoeya island.


Berit Roald

Norway remembers the victims of its worst ever mass killing today.

It's one year to the day since Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and wounded 242 in a bomb attack in Oslo and shooting rampage on Utoya island.

"The bomb and bullets were intended to change Norway," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said, according to the transcript of his speech. "The Norwegian people responded by reasserting our values.

"The perpetrator failed to achieve what he set out to do. The people triumphed."

More from GlobalPost: One year on, Norway still reeling from massacre

Stoltenberg led a wreath-laying ceremony near the scene of the first attack, the government headquarters in Olso. A nationwide minute of silence was held at the moment the bomb went off.

According to the BBC, Stoltenberg will lay another wreath on Utoya at 6:45 p.m. – precisely the time that Breivik was arrested on the island. 

A national memorial concert is planned for this evening. Survivors and victims' families held a private service on Utoya this morning.

"Very few people go through a day without thinking of the events," one Norwegian told Reuters. "A person you miss, someone you were supposed to hang out with, or seek advice from… or something that just reminds you of what happened."

Despite the sadness, Norwegians remained defiant. "By meeting blind hatred with knowledge and reason, we have shown that democracy is stronger than its biggest threat," Stoltenberg said. 

Meanwhile Reuters described signs left at the site of the Oslo attack that read: "If one man can create so much hatred, imagine how much love we can create together."

Breivik is on trial for murder and terrorist acts. A verdict is due on August 24, according to the Associated Press.

More from GlobalPost: Anders Behring Breivik demands to be acquitted