Standing in Solidarity
Jul 28, 2011Studying peace has taken on new meaning for two students. Nathaniel Cook '12, Hutchinson, Minn., and Kelsy Johnson '12, Bismarck, N.D., are Nobel Peace Prize Scholars in Norway along with students from more than 90 countries. Both were in Oslo, Norway, when the bombings took place July 22.
"It was hard to imagine it being a bomb, considering Norway's reputation as a very peaceful nation," Cook says.
Both Johnson and Cook have learned from Norway's response to the tragedy. Johnson has been impressed by the resilience of the people. "Their immediate response was one of solidarity," she says.
Cook noted how Norwegians have held on to their values. "Rather than responding in anger or vowing to avenge the deaths of the many innocent victims, the Norwegian government and its people have committed to their values of democracy and multicultural acceptance," he says. He is interested to see how the recent events will be incorporated into his international politics class, scheduled to discuss terrorism and anti-terrorism in the next two weeks.
The two scholars have experienced a renewed solidarity with Norway and the other peace scholars through this tragedy. "Many national identities seem to fade away, overtaken by a shared human identity," Cook says.
Read Kelsy's blog.
Read Nathaniel's blog.