25-04-2021 09.30 am
This year marks the 10 year anniversary since the dual terrorist attacks in Norway - the bombing of the Government Quarter in Oslo and the massacre on the island of Utøya on July 22nd 2011. 10 years – (3,650 days) is a long time and a lot has happened in 10 years, but for the families and the survivors, many feel like it was only yesterday since the attacks. To put 10 years into perspective a little closer to home for us - my little sister, Sydney is now 11 years old. And she has questions.
As a part of our commemoration, last year Sydney and I started our Remember Me (#viminnerdem) project. Our mum, Vanessa is an advocate for victims of terrorism and has spoken to people all over the world to create awareness and help other countries make good decisions about how to help families and children like us. But more importantly, our mum advocates for the victims that no longer can speak for themselves. That is what our Remember Me project is about, or rather hashtag #rememberme – remembering the victims of terrorism.
Our project helps remind and teach other children and adults (today) about the victims and who they were and why they are important to us, so we all can take responsibility so that the terrorist attacks in Oslo and on Utøya or the mosque attacks in Christchurch in New Zealand, don’t happen again. The consequences are devastating – and we - the families, have to live with terrorisms brutality for the rest of our lives.
We talk our values. We walk our values. We remember!
Kindness and compassion best sums up the kind of person our sister Sharidyn was. Even though our sister was only 14 years old when she was killed, she "talked and walked her values". We strongly believe that it is important to talk about our sister, at the same time raise awareness about the brutal consequences of terrorism so that 9/11 (New York, USA), 22/7 (Oslo and Utøya, Norway) and 15/3 (Christchurch, New Zealand) doesn’t happen again to another family like ours. There are one too many families like us in the world, and one too many children like us that are growing up, knowing that the world isn’t always a nice place to live in. But we all can make a difference.
How can I support #rememberme Project?
In remembrance of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Norway and in commemoration of the 10 year anniversary, my little sister and I have looked at different ways that schools - children and adults can commemorate July 22nd.
You may already have noticed that there have been a lot of different podcasts, social media events and increased media focus in the weeks leading up to the 10 year anniversary. For many, this may feel overwhelming. Commemorating the 10 year anniversary doesn't have to be complicated. The most important are the conversations people are having at home, at work or at school.
What is our legacy after July 22?
How do we want to remember the worst event in our modern history in Norway?
If the victims were your friends or family, what do you think is important to remember about them?
How do you honour their memory?