Mayor plans #LondonUnited anniversary tribute to all four terror attacks
Sadiq Khan is bringing London together to remember all the first anniversaries of the terror attacks on the capital in 2017.
Today marks one year on from the Westminster atrocity that claimed the life of Police Constable Keith Palmer and his “courage and ultimate sacrifice” will be the starting point for the four commemorations over the coming months.
In plans announced on Thursday (March 22), the Mayor of London will provide a focal point for Londoners at City Hall and bring the city together in an act of solidarity through #LondonUnited.
Families of the 14 bereaved, and people closely involved in the attacks have been consulted through police family liaison networks and the Warrington-based Foundation for Peace Survivors Assistance Network, where this week the town remembered the 25th anniversary of the Provisional IRA bomb attack.
The result will see the phrase #LondonUnited projected on to the Houses of Parliament, London Bridge, Finsbury Park Mosque and Parsons Green Tube station – on the anniversaries of the attacks.
A 3D installation of #LondonUnited will be located at City Hall where the public will be able to pay their respects.
The public will be able to sign a digital book of hope and interact with the installation by sending messages of strength, hope and resilience using #LondonUnited on social media, which will then be projected onto a map of London on which the #LondonUnited installation will stand.
The space will open today – on the anniversary of the first attack in Westminster (March 22, 2017) – and remain open to the public until the anniversary of the Finsbury Park attack on June 19.
All Londoners are invited to contribute using #LondonUnited.
Later in the year ‘London United’ exhibitions will be organised to highlight London’s resilience and hope, shine a light on London’s heroes and the bravery of our emergency services, and demonstrate how Londoners unite together at times of adversity.
The mayor said: “Londoners will never forget the horrific terror attacks on our city in 2017.
“We will never forget the bravery of our emergency services and first responders who ran towards danger while urging the rest of us to run to safety.
“And we will never forget the courage of PC Keith Palmer who paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst protecting Parliament.
“These were not only attacks on our city and our country, but on the very heart of our democracy and the values we cherish most – freedom, justice and tolerance.
“We know that families, friends and communities have their own private arrangements in place to mark this tragic anniversary, and our plans here at City Hall are intended to complement, without intruding on, individual private commemorations.
“I hope these arrangements will help people to come together and remember those who were killed and injured, to show solidarity and support for their families and friends and the people whose lives have been affected by these tragic attacks.
“As we enter this period of remembrance and reflection, we stand together as Londoners, united against terrorism and in hope for the future.”
Many families, friends and communities have their own private arrangements in place to reflect and remember their lost loved ones, and it is important that these plans are respected, said the Mayor’s statement.
The plans at City Hall are intended to complement, without intruding on, the individual private commemorative activities of bereaved families.
Terry O’Hara, manager of the Survivors Assistance Network at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation said: “Memorials are important, both for those affected by such attacks but also for those who want to show their support and compassion for them.
“The Mayor of London’s plans for this period of anniversaries provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on the impact of these terrible attacks on the bereaved, the seriously injured and also those affected in other ways and make sure that the best possible support is provided for all.
“The foundation welcomes the Mayor’s call for everyone to stand together against terrorism and shares his hope for the future.”
Toufik Kacimi, Muslim Welfare House CEO, added: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected by all of last year’s terror attacks, especially with the family of Markam Ali who was murdered in Finsbury Park.
“These senseless horrific actions wanted to divide our communities. The Muslim Welfare House stands alongside all of London, untied against hate.”
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has confirmed it will be attending a number of private memorial services in London today to commemorate the first-year anniversary of the Westminster attack.
With the sacrifice of PC Palmer still fresh in the minds of MPS colleagues, PC Shaun Cartwright paid tribute to the 48-year-old officer.
He said: “Keith loved being a police officer, he just wanted to help people and do his best. He loved his time at Bromley, the TSG and Palace of Westminster.
“Keith was always happy, always the first to help anyone out, first in to work and the last one out.
“He was a proud and courageous police officer who did his job and never wanted any fuss or to be the centre of attention.
“Keith was a true and loyal friend, utterly reliable. Most of all I will remember him as a family man who idolised his wife, daughter and his family; they’re the important ones that I think about a year on from the Westminster attack.”