Families of the 52 people who died in the London bombings on July 7, 2005 have paid tribute to their loved ones at the unveiling of a permanent memorial by the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla dedication of the memorial, consisting of 52 stainless steel pillars, at Hyde Park in central London on the fourth anniversary of the attacks.
The prince said the date of the bombings was etched vividly in memory as a brutal intrusion into the lives of many people.
“I never fail to be amazed by the resilience and fortitude of the British people,” he said.
“It was this indomitable spirit together with the commitment, compassion and sheer doggedness of the emergency services which got us through that day and the days and weeks to come.”
Each pillar has a unique finish, with lines, rough areas and smooth surfaces, and also bears an inscription of the time, place and date of the four bombings – with the numbers of those killed at each atrocity.
Prince Charles and Camilla placed wreaths at the foot of a plaque bearing the names of each of the victims beside the 3.5-metre pillars, which are grouped to represent the four separate locations where the bombs exploded.
‘Fitting tribute’ to victims
Representatives of each of the victims then placed a red rose representing love and a white rose for peace at the memorial between Lovers Walk and Park Lane.
Sam Ly, 28, from Melbourne, was among those who died when suicide bombers detonated backpacks on board three London Underground trains and a bus. Several other Australians were injured.
Victims’ relatives described the memorial as a fitting tribute.
A representative of the bereaved families said in a statement: “It represents the enormity of our loss, both on a personal and public level.
“We hope this memorial will speak to visitors, so they can understand the impact of these horrific events.”
Also present at the dedication ceremony were British Prime minister Gordon Brown, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Minister for London Tessa Jowell, who said each column represented “a unique person and a unique grief”.
She added: “Each one casts a shadow just as they do – each one standing tall and proud just as they did, and each one will in an individual way absorb and reflect light just as they did.”