As Norway mourns the more than 90 people killed on Friday in an Oslo bomb attack and subsequent shooting at a youth camp, about 3oo people gathered at the Mindekirke Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Minneapolis on Sunday to remember those killed.
"It's frightening to see how far astray one person can cause from his purpose in life and cause so much damage and pain," Mindekirke's pastor, Margret Telhaug, told those gathered at the church. "And not even Norway, even if we like to think so, is protected from destructive forces."
Mindekirke Church was founded by Norwegian immigrants in 1922, and continues to hold services in Norwegian. Members there rang a bell for every person known to have died, and laid roses at the altar in their memory.
"It's part of our human condition that our lives are vulnerable and it suddenly surfaces in a brutal and painful way."
Norway's honorary consul general to Minnesota joined the large Twin Cities Norwegian American congregation.
Gary Gandrud topld those on hand that Norwegians everywhere must have faith in Norway's democracy.
"Abassador Wegger Strommen, the ambassador to the United States, contacted me. He wanted me to greet Mindekirke. He wanted me to let you know that they are standing steadfast and Norway will not change," Gandrud said.