Friday, July 29, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
So far, what is known is that yesterday at 3:26 Oslo time a car bomb exploded outside of the Prime Minister's office, leaving at least 7 dead and dozens injured. A little over an hour later, there are reports of gunfire from a political youth camp on the island of Utoy, where a Norwegian counter-terrorism team was dispatched. Over the next hour or so the gunman proceeded to shoot and kill at least 84 people on the island. As the day went on, information began to come out that the gunman may also have been seen at the location of the bombing earlier in the day.
Last night and today teams have begun to search the wreckage of the bomb blast area, looking for trapped survivors and further casualties. So far it is still somewhat unclear what the motive behind these two heinous acts may have been, though a number of speculations have been offered by different sources.
Sons of Norway is focusing on those who have been affected by these tragic events and how best to help in Norway's healing process as it recovers from the largest loss of life in a single day since world war II. It's not just the staff of Sons of Norway, either; it's the members, too. Those of us at the Headquarters have been receiving numerous calls from members asking for confirmed information and wanting to know what they can do to help.
It really makes me emotional to see this kind of outpouring of love and support for a country that is thousands of miles away across land and sea. I think it's a real testament to the commitment that Sons of Norway members have to our mission and to our namesake nation.
In addition to calls from members we've also been receiving a number of calls from media to provide commentary on how this story is being received by, or affecting, the Norwegian American community. In fact, the media has been reaching out to members and lodges throughout the U.S. and Canada. For those who are interested, I'm providing a list below, which will be updated as I get more information.
- WCCO (MPLS) talked about Sons of Norway and interviewed our CEO Eivind Heiberg,
- Duluth News Tribune spoke with members involved with the upcoming Royal visit.
- Montreal Gazette spoke to our Edmonton lodge
- Milwaukee members react to the tragedy
- Sonoma gets local reaction from members and leaders
- Santa Barbara lodge president speaks with Fox News affiliate
- Baltimore members spoke with their ABC affiliate
- Arizona District 6 officer spoke with local affiliates.
Also, if you have a kind thought you'd like to share, or talk about how this event has made you feel, please feel free to do so in the comments section.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Our collective thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by this tragedy as well as their families and friends.
As we receive more information about this event, we will provide further updates on the Sons of Norway blog. In the mean time, information can be found at cnn.com, Aftenposten and NRK the BBC. You can also follow the following twitter hashtags to follow the story as it develops: #Oslo, #Osloblast, #Prayforoslo.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
The Sons of Norway Foundation is currently working to assist as many of these families as possible through its Humanitarian Fund, from which $1,000 Helping Hands to Members Grants can be awarded to aid members who are victims of natural disasters, like this one. The grants assist our members in their time of great need, helping them purchase items, like bottled water, groceries and other severely needed supplies to keep them going during the clean-up and re-build.
In true fraternal spirit, the Foundation is calling on all Sons of Norway members and lodges who can help with this relief effort by making a tax deductible donation* to the Humanitarian Fund. This will ensure that the Fund stands ready to help with current and future disasters. You may donate on-line or send your checks with "Minot" in the memo line (no cash please) to Sons of Norway Foundation, Att: Minot, 1455 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408.
Please accept our heartfelt thanks on behalf of the victims who will benefit from your generosity.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Ever wonder how Americans living abroad celebrate the Fourth of July? If you were in Oslo today, you might have celebrated in Frogner Park with entertainment, dancing, games and, of course, American food. The annual American Independence Day celebration, now in its 26th year, was hosted by the American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCN) and attracts about 20,000 event goers.
The ACCN is an umbrella organization for nearly 20 American non-profits based in Norway, including the American Embassy, Sons of Norway's Christiania 8-4, and Nordmanns-Forbundet. "One of our goals is to work together as American organizations to show the Norwegian people that we enjoy having fun, and we enjoy working together," said Bruce Allen, Sons of Norway member and event founder, in a recent interview with Viking. Allen added that ACCN gives profits from the event to charities and grants in Norway.
Want to learn more about Oslo's Fourth of July celebration? You can read the rest of Allen's interview in the July issue of Viking.
The staff of Viking wishes Americans living on both side of the pond a happy Fourth of July!
Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-58.
Photo illustration by Doug Bratland from an original image by Flickr user Marionzetta.