Stoltenberg says Norway has emerged as stronger, more open

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File picture from July, 2011, shows flags and a carpet of flowers at a makeshift outside the cathedral in Oslo in honor of the 77 victims of the July 22 twin attacks in downtown Oslo and on the island of Utoeya.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said the country has emerged a more open and stronger democracy as it marks the one-year anniversary of the twin terror attacks that took 77 lives.

Stoltenberg and King Harald today commenced a day of remembrance for those who died in the attacks by Anders Behring Breivik, laying down flower wreaths in a ceremony outside the still closed and damaged premier's office in central Oslo. The service was attended by survivors of the bombing that killed eight people, political party leaders and four former premiers.

"The perpetrator failed, and the people won," Stoltenberg said in a speech at the memorial service, which included music by Grieg and Mozart as well as a minute of silence. Norwegians have learned to better appreciate life and that "democracy is superior," he said.

Services will also be held on Utoeya Island, where Breivik massacred 69 people attending a Labor Party youth camp. The trial of the 33-year-old self confessed killer ended last month and a verdict is expected on Aug. 24. He was unapologetic to the end, saying the attacks "were a pre-emptive strike" to protect Norway against multiculturalism and Islam.

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