NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The impact of the horrific killings in Norway is being felt right here in New York City.
Outside the Norwegian Seamen’s Church on East 52nd Street on Monday, a small, heartfelt memorial burned for the slaughtered souls of the Norwegian massacre.
Heidi Borresen, a resident of Oslo, laid flowers for the deceased and wept quietly.
“It’s emotional for the whole country of Norway. For the whole world I think it’s emotional,” Borresen told CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.
While inside the church, Norwegians from our area — including Rande Nairheim — lit candles and prayed for murdered countrymen, many of whom were teenagers, a half a world away.
“When you start crying, it’s hard to stop,” Nairheim said. “It’s kids. So that’s hard.”
Anders Breivik was taken from an Oslo courthouse following a closed court appearance Monday.
Breivik is accused of a twin terror attack — setting off a car bomb near the prime minister’s office then and then going to a remote island to attack young people at a political retreat. Many of the victims were the children of liberal party members. Authorities said at least 68 people were killed.
Having seen the horror on television and watching the cruel handiwork of a madman armed with too much ammunition and zero compassion for the innocent, Espen Guullikstad brought his children to the church hoping to explain the unexplainable.
“We have to find a way to take part and to make them understand what has happened in Norway,” Guullikstad said.
Under normal circumstances, the church is closed on Mondays. However, with so much sorrow and so much need for prayer, the church remained open.
“Norwegians need to see other Norwegians. They need to seek comfort,” Vidar Eldholm said.
Parishioners have taken to writing condolence letters and expressing their own shock and sadness. For many, however, the magnitude of the tragedy and scope of the overwhelming violence is all but incomprehensible.
“It’s unbelievable. You don’t expect that to happen in a small country like Norway,” Borresen said.
Mourners continued to pray for the dead as the church extended its hours indefinitely.
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