Royal recognition for Utøya heroes

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More than 100 men and women who came to the rescue of those fleeing a massacre on the island of Utøya last summer were honoured over the weekend with awards and a ceremony at the same hotel where survivors gathered after the terror of July 22.

The “ordinary heroes,” many of whom had never taken part in any sort of rescue efforts before, helped pluck terrified teenagers out of the chilly waters of the Tyrifjord when they tried to swim away from the island. Vacationers at a nearby campground and local residents were among those who resolutely jumped into small boats and sailed out to help those fleeing, even though the terrorist shot at them as well, or provided emergency relief services on shore.

“Without your contribution, fewer would have survived,” Crown Prince Haakon, who spoke at the ceremony at Sundvolden Hotel, told the heroes, their families and friends. “We remember with sorrow the dead, but today we celebrate all who lived, thanks to you.”

Crown Princess Mette-Marit was also on hand, in addition to Justice Minister Grete Faremo and other dignitaries, to pay tribute to those who also risked their own lives in the rescue effort. All were presented with awards of recognition and the royals individually shook hands with all present, who had been invited to the ceremony from their homes all over the country.

Views and News staff