July 22. 2011, Oslo was struck by a terrorist attack, carried out by a single individual. A total of 77 people lost their lives in the attacks. In the wake of tragedy, people of Oslo reacted by gathering for a rose march in the streets, and the whole town was soon covered with roses.
The Norwegian response to terror was noticed. Anna Reimann in the German newspaper Der Spiegel wrote on Sunday, July 24, 2011:
“Even in their shock and mourning, the Norwegians have not become hysterical and they are resisting hate. They are deeply saddened, but nobody has called for revenge and there have been no knee-jerk reactions to the massacre. Instead, the Norwegians say they now want more humanity and more democracy. It is an impressive sign of the strength of this small nation.”
It was the sea of roses that inspired smiths Tone Mörk Karlsrud and Tobbe Malm to start the project IRON ROSE. Via their international network, they invited all the world’s smiths to attend. The response was immediate. Up to date, ca. 850 blacksmiths (from 24 countries outside Norway) contributed with iron roses. Survivors has been in the forge and got help to forge their praises to those killed in the terrorist act. 90 roses are made by them. The roses will be integrated into a monument and a final proposal for the design will be presented in December 2014.