The news out of Norway is especially troubling for people with loved ones in that country.
The Norwegian flag hangs outside the Baltimore County home of Dr. Louis Olsen -- a tribute to the dozens killed on Friday.
Early in the last century, Dr. Olsen's parents came to Baltimore from Norway. He's been active in the national 'Sons of Norway' organization for most of his life.
“Our mission is to keep all of the heritage and culture of Norway alive, here,” he said.
It's a culture that may be best-known for its love of peace. “They are peaceful, stoic but peaceful people. This was stunning to them,” Dr. Olsen said.
It started with massive explosions in the capital, Oslo, then, dozens of young people were killed in a mass-shooting at a summer camp nearly 20 miles away.
Shortly after seeing what happened, Dr. Olsen was on the phone with his cousin, in Norway.
“She was upset, so that she couldn't talk very much, and her son got on the phone, and we had a longer conversation about things,” he said.
The son lives in downtown Oslo -- but he wasn't there when the attack happened.
“The apartment where he lives, that building had some of the windows shattered as well,” Dr. Olsen said. “That someone could do it on such a large scale is difficult to fathom, because we know so many Norwegians who are gentle souls. And we just don't have an occasion to think otherwise.”
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.