Back in 1996, I was a student at the University of Tasmania. One particular Sunday I was down at the University campus, completing an assignment in the computer lab. About 90 minutes drive away from where I was sitting, a nutter named Martin Bryant took a car load of guns to a tourist spot called Port Arthur and shot 35 people, both tourists and locals.
No-one can understand senseless violence like that. It’s both impersonal and extremely personal at the same time.
Yesterday, both in the city and just outside of Oslo, Norway, there was more senseless violence. Just like Port Arthur, the toll has risen as news has developed, and its rise has shocked and horrified everyone.
Sometimes, saying that “our thoughts are with you” seems woefully inadequate, but for many of us, that’s all we can do. We can’t wind back the clock, we can’t heal the wounds or soothe the grief. We wish we could.
I don’t know many people from Norway but I’ve met a few in my time as a Saab writer. And of course, I’m now living in a country that shares a border with Norway and I’m sure that the Swedish people are feeling this tragedy very close to their hearts.
There were five separate Saab Support Convoys held in Norway – in Oslo, Sandes, Tolga, Bodoe and Kristiansand. We felt your support and it’s frustrating that there isn’t necessarily a way that I can repay that.
IntSaab 2011 is coming up in just a few weeks and I’m sure we’ll have some of our Norwegian friends in attendance. If good times can help someone feel like time is moving on then I hope to meet a few of you and be a part of that process. In the meantime, as little as it can mean sometimes, our thoughts are indeed with you and we’re already inspired by your determination to not allow this nut to change the way you live your lives.
Photo by e.skjaeveland on Flickr.