Exactly 12 months on from the terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge, the 14 people who died and over 100 who were injured in four terrorist attacks which struck London in 2017 have been remembered.
On March 22, a terrorist drove his car along the pavement of Westminster Bridge near the Palace of Westminster. After killing and injuring numerous pedestrians the vehicle crashed into the railings of the parliamentary estate. The attacker exited the car and ran for the main gates into parliament. The gates were open, as is standard procedure during a parliamentary vote, and the terrorist stabbed and killed PC Keith Palmer. In total five people died, not including the attacker.
Three months later a group of men drove their van at pedestrians on London Bridge. After the van crashed the three terrorists began stabbing customer outside pubs and bars. The men were able to kill eight people before being shot dead by the police.
Just weeks later, a van was driven at speed into a crowd gathered outside a mosque in Finsbury Park. This “revenge terrorist” attack resulted in the death of one person. The imam of the mosque protected the attacker from an understandably angry crowd.
In September, 30 people were injured, with thankfully no fatalities, when a botched “bucket bomb” exploded at Parsons Green underground station. The perpetrator was arrested the following day when he was trying to flee the UK.
Today, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, laid a wreath in Parliament Square with a handwritten message saying: “In memory of those who were lost, and in defiance of those who would seek to silence democracy.”
Many on Twitter have been showing their solidarity with London using the hashtag #LondonUnited.
NHS England’s director of communications remembered those who lost their lives in Westminster.
Remembering Kurt Cochran, Leslie Rhodes, Aysha Frade, Andreea Cristea and police officer PC Keith Palmer who died in the #WestminsterBridge terror attack. Thinking of their families and friends, as well as those who were injured #LondonUnited pic.twitter.com/9SEUD1VDpE
— Antony Tiernan (@AntonyTiernan) March 22, 2018
Sadiq Khan recognised the bravery of the emergency services.
We will never forget the innocent lives lost in the horrific terror attacks on our city in 2017, nor the bravery of our emergency services and first responders who ran towards danger while urging the rest of us to run to safety. #LondonUnited pic.twitter.com/nASI58Y5Zo
— Mayor of London (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MayorofLondon) March 22, 2018
Member of the Youth Parliament, Alexander Willis recognised the sacrifice of PC Keith Palmer.
I will always remember 22nd March 2017 – a day of pure fear and panic. Despite the terror, British resolve prevailed once again. PC Keith Palmer selflessly defended our liberty until the very end – a true hero.
Please keep the victims in your prayers today. 🇬🇧 #LondonUnited pic.twitter.com/bMoy3A4fod
— Alexander Willis MYP (@myp_willis) March 22, 2018
In the middle of the above image is Tobias Ellwood MP. A trained medic and former army captain, Ellwood attempted mouth to mouth resuscitation on Palmer before the police officer succumbed to his injuries. Today, Ellwood recounted the events that followed including his return home where he was greeted by his young son.
The Conservative MP and minister in the Defence Department told the BBC that: “All I could offer was there are some bad people in the world, but… it’s the good people that win.”
This morning a vigil attended by high-level officials including Speaker John Bercow and the Archbishop of Canterbury took place in Westminster Hall. Speaker’s Chaplain Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who led the service, said: “A year ago today, on this estate and on Westminster bridge, we were visited by what I regard as evil.”
In four locations across the city #LondonUnited will be projected in solidarity with the loved ones of those who lost their lives and the citizens of a city shook be terror.
Below are the names of those who were senselessly killed by the four acts of terror discussed in this article.
Xavier Thomas, 45
Ignacio Echeverría, 39
Sebastien Belanger, 36
Sara Zelenak, 21
Alexandre Pigeard, 27
Kirsty Boden, 28
James McMullan, 32
Chrissy Archibald, 30
Iuliana Tudos, 22
PC Keith Palmer, 48
Aysha Frade, 43
Kurt Cochran, 54
Leslie Rhodes, 75
Andreea Cristea, 31
feature image credit: wikicommons