King Harald of Norway: “We are strongly influenced by Ari Behn’s death”

King HaraldHis Majesty, King Harald: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix
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King Harald of Norway said that the royal family is strongly influenced by Ari Behn’s death but that they are also heartened to experience the public’s compassion.

“It has been heartening to experience people’s compassion and see the lighted candles at Slottsplassen. There is comfort in all the good memories and beautiful words that have been conveyed about the father of our three dear grandchildren,” said the King in his New Year’s speech, broadcast on NRK on New Year’s Eve.

The King reflected that New Year’s Eve is an evening filled with hope and expectations but many are entering the New Year with sadness in their hearts.

“My thoughts tonight are especially with all those who go out of the old year with a sad void of someone they were happy with,” said the king.

“So dark that nothing helps”
Ari Behn took his own life on Christmas Day.

“Sometimes life is not to endure. For some, it gets so dark that nothing helps. Not even the love of their loved ones. Some see no other way than to leave life. Those who remain must live on. Poorer – without the one they loved,” said the king in the speech.

He pointed out that the uncertainty of what is going to happen to us makes us all vulnerable.

“The best thing we can do is be there for each other, see each other, remember to give each other the good words. And carry each other if needed,” he added.

The King is leaving behind an active year, with several trips around the country. And he says he is touched by what he sees.

“We are experiencing a people who care about their fellow human beings. Those who volunteer. Those who are fighting for their small communities and others to feel good. These moments are those we keep as our dearest memories of who we are and what we are made of,” he said.

“Life is fragile”
The King also referred to World War II and emphasized trust and cooperation as key factors for the reconstruction of the country.

“The five dark years of war had created distrust and suspicion among us. In October, I was in Kirkenes to mark the liberation of East Finnmark, which meant the beginning of the end of the war. In the year we are now entering, we must remember that it is 75 years since peace came,” said the King.

He pointed out that Norwegians still need “good luck and hard work” to strengthen their country and each other.

“For peace is fragile. Confidence is fragile. And life is fragile. We are constantly reminded of that,” he observed.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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