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Augustana Students Recall Norway Massacre

July 26, 2011, 9:54 PM by Don Jorgensen

Augustana Students Recall Norway Massacre
Two students from Augustana College, who are studying in Norway at the University of Oslo, heard the bomb go off. 

They've been taking part in some of the ceremonies following the attacks and still can't believe something like this could happen in a country known for peace. 

Norway is a nation united by grief over the worst massacre in its modern history.  Two Augustana College students have been caught up in the events that have gone from chaos to confusion. 

"We all heard the explosion, but there's a lot of construction going on right now on campus and I assumed it was something with construction," Augustana junior Thad Titze said. 

"I first thought it was thunder, but it wasn't that type of weather out, so we were really confused at first," Augustana junior Michael Seeley said.

It wasn't until an hour and a half later that Titze and Seeley realized what had happened .

"I think we were all in a state of shock.  Norway is the last place in the world you'd expect any sort of an attack like that," Titze said.

Monday, the two attended the moment of silence for the victims in downtown Oslo. 

"Just swarms of people were there, flowers were everywhere; at the church, posted on signs, the subway, put up in trees," Seeley said.

"People were crying, people were laying flowers, flags out in front of the church and it was helpful for everyone there, including us, to see that united Norwegian people together," Titze said.

The bomb blast and a massacre at a youth camp killed at least 76 people. Titze and Seeley are inspired by Norway's solidarity. 

"Norwegian people have really come together and are showing their united front and their willingness not to fight this with war or anger, but with compassion and openness," Titze said.

Titze and Seeley return to Sioux Falls next week.

As for the suspect in the killings, Anders Breivik's lawyer says Breivik isn't aware of the impact of the attacks and that he's asked the lawyer how many people he had killed.

He also says Breivik took drugs to keep him alert during the 90-minute shooting attack at an island retreat.

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