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King Harald's New Year Speech


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Like his cousin Queen Margrethe of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway also issued his year-end speech on New Year's Eve. The king talked about the trauma left by the July 22 terror attack in Oslo and Utoya, and of his duty to heal the country.

“Those directly affected should be processing strong emotions and a heavy loss in their own way and at their own time. In this slow adaptation to the rest of us to be fellow human beings,” he said.

“‘When all is no longer with and carry, it becomes harder for us,’ said one of the survivors of Utøya two months after the tragedy. Here is a challenge to each and every one of us. A challenge to show care and provide assurance. We must not forget the children. They might be sitting back with more and stronger impression than we realize.”

Not to be forgotten are the great tsunami that struck Japan, the Horn of Africa, the debt crisis in Europe, and the Arab Spring that the king took time to mention.

“2011 has been a dramatic year. The tsunami that struck Japan took twenty thousand lives and caused widespread nuclear contamination. In the Horn of Africa and elsewhere have natural disasters hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. In our own wealthy European debt crisis threatens to close youth out of work – to an extent we thought belonged to the past. But there have also been many positive: the so-called Arab spring. Nobel Peace Prize award to female democracy activists in Africa and the Middle East. Let’s hope this is what will stand out as milestones in history when the long lines to be drawn.”

The King continues to talk about Norway's quest against racism. The program has fared well in many ways with native Norwegians invited to the homes of immigrants. In fact the queen and the crown princess were invited over for tea by an Iranian family.

“The conversation with his neighbor over a cup of coffee or tea will also help us to understand differences and appreciate the resources inherent in diversity. At the same time it gives us the opportunity to hone ourselves to each other. We must dare. When the call is an even more important way forward.”

“Every person has a great power in themselves – that can carry us through what we encounter in life. But we can not do it alone. And I’m not alone would be to cope with life’s greatest challenges,” the king ends his speech.

Photo Source, http://www.royaltyinthenews.com, retrieved Dec. 31, 2011.

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