“The feeling of sympathy grows when you sit in the same hall as the relatives, and as the names are read out, grief travels across the room. It is a reminder that there is a heavy sorrow hanging over Norway,” said Reinfeldt to daily Aftonbladet.
The ceremony was held a month after the terrible tragedy took place in order to honour the victims of Anders Behring Breivik who died in the Oslo explosion and at the youth camp at Utøya.
Survivors, relatives and people who in different ways worked with these after the attack had been especially invited.
Representatives from the Nordic nations were also in attendance; Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria and the presidents of Finland and Iceland.
The Norwegian king Harald V was first to address the gathered people.
“As father, grandfather and husband I can only imagine part of your pain. As King of this nation I feel with each and every one of you,” he said, fighting back the tears.
Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg said that “black Friday” should make us all address the threats of extremists with more democracy.
“Each and every one of us can shoulder responsibility and safeguard freedom, “ Stoltenberg said in his speech.
Fredrik Reinfeldt told daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) afterwards that it had been a dignified ceremony. What had made the most lasting impression was when each of the 77 victims’ names was read out.
“Yes, it was very difficult. It takes time to read out 77 names and the feeling is even stronger when you look upon the images of the very young people that died,” he said.
Earlier during the day Reinfeldt and Victoria had attended a separate ceremony to place flowers near the Oslo cathedral where a separate ceremony was held in remembrance of the victims.