Day of commemoration for Norway massacre

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Day of commemoration for Norway massacre

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Norway is holding a national day of commemoration on Sunday, almost a month after the Olso bombing and the massacre at Utoeya island.

A concert will be attended by survivors, victims’ families, the royal family and Scandinavian heads of government.

On Saturday, as on the previous day, the focus of events was Utoeya itself. While some looked on from the mainland, across the water survivors returned to the island to help the healing process.

Among them was one young man who had two brushes with death. Adrian Pracon had tried to swim away, but realising he would not make the opposite shore, he returned.

Anders Behring Breivik was just metres away and aimed his gun at him. Exhausted, the 21-year-old said “don’t shoot” – and the killer turned away.

Minutes later, as Pracon played dead at the same spot, the killer fired but missed his head, hitting only his shoulder.

“I have to be honest, I do feel good,” said the survivor during the visit. “I feel now that we are one step closer to taking this island back and to be honest, in my eyes, we have taken the island back today.”

As on Friday when families of the 69 victims visited Utoeya, teams of doctors, psychiatrists and clerics were on hand.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg joined the trip. According to Norwegian media, he has vowed to spend a night on the island during next summer’s annual camp.