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7-7 remembered

Events in London marked the tenth anniversary of the bombings of July 7, 2005. Relatives of victims of the attacks as well as survivors and members of the emergency services were invited to a national service of remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral organised by City Hall.

The service was attended by HRH the Duke of York, Prime Minister David Cameron and the Mayor, as well as senior leaders involved on the day including former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Mayor Ken Livingstone. The service included a minute of silence at 11.30am as observed across the capital.

Earlier in the day the Mayor, the Prime Minister and other senior political figures, the Commissioners for transport and policing in the capital, as well as senior representatives of the emergency services laid wreaths at the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park.

A further service for survivors and relatives of the victims was held at the memorial site during the afternoon, which will include music, a series of readings and the laying of flowers.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Our priority today is to allow the families and friends of the 52 innocent victims of 7/7 to pay tribute to the memory of their loved ones. And for the survivors and the many hundreds of members of our emergency services who were affected by these atrocities to know that they have the support of every Londoner. On the tenth anniversary of the attacks we honour the victims, we remember the sufferings of their families and we pay tribute to the actions of our emergency services on that appalling day.”

Fifty-two people lost their lives, and about 700 more were injured in co-ordinated terrorist attacks on the London transport network on July 7, 2005. In 2014 the Mayor asked Dame Tessa Jowell, who was involved in family liaison at the time, and Gerald Oppenheim, Chair of the Trustees of the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund, to work with City Hall on preparations for the anniversary.

The Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust (MHMT) has launched an education resource, ‘Miriam’s Vision: A Response to the 2005 London Bombings’, developed with the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education and Miriam’s school, Copthall School. It is intended to work towards an inclusive society, safer from violent extremism, while helping young people to develop transferable life skills.

Miriam Hyman, 32, was killed travelling to work on the bus that exploded in Tavistock Square. “Miriam’s Vision” is apolitical and non-religious. It is a collection of lesson plans for example for the history of 7-7, for secondary school teachers, including guidance notes and accompanying resources (video footage, photographs, reproductions of artefacts from Odisha, the location of Miriam’s memorial, the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre). Visit http://miriamsvision.org/.

At Birkbeck College, University of London, members and former members of the college laid a wreath to remember Italian-born Birkbeck student Benedetta Ciaccia, who was studying for a foundation degree in Computer Science when she died as a result of the bombing. She was 30. A memorial to Benedetta in Torrington Square is just outside the main entrance to Birkbeck.

The wreath was laid as part of a private ceremony, after a wider memorial service in Russell Square led by the Mayor of Camden, Larraine Revah, with spiritual leaders drawn from the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths.

An imam led prayers for peace and a service to remember the dead, the survivors, the bereaved and the emergency services personnel involved. A former member of staff affected by the bombings, with the president of the Birkbeck student union, John Linder, were also invited to light a candle in memorial.

As well as a physical memorial, the college – with Benedetta’s former employer, publishers Pearson – established a Benedetta Ciaccia Memorial Fund. That established an annual prize for the Best Final Year Student on the Foundation Degree in IT.

Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman CBE, said: “Benedetta was a student who was passionate about, and excelled in, her studies. Her loss was deeply felt, and continues to be deeply felt, by staff and students across the college.”

Met Commissioner

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “Today is a day to remember and reflect. To remember those whose lives were taken from them, the hundreds of people injured and caught up in the horrific carnage, and all those people whose loved ones never returned home.

“It is a time to reflect upon our City, how strongly we came together to stand up to the threat we faced, and to send a message to terrorists that London was, and continues to be, strong, united and vibrant.

“For so many of my officers and staff the 7th July 2005 is a day that they too will never forget. A day that doing their duty meant running towards scenes of horror that were unimaginable, not knowing what would face them when they arrived and doing their absolute very best to help.

“Their actions, emergency services colleagues and the public were brave, professional and fill me with humility and pride for what they collectively delivered. The hard work continued in the days and weeks that followed.

“We will never, ever be complacent. Whilst I hope that we will never need to deliver such a response again, if we do we will be ready.

“My thoughts today are with those taken from us, those who were affected, remain affected and with my own men and women who, day-in day-out are here for London.”


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