A memorial service has been held to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the London Bridge and Borough Market terrorist attack in which eight people were killed.
Some 48 others were injured on June 3, 2017, when terrorists drove pedestrians in a rental van before attacking passers-by with 12-inch knives.
The drive was the focus of Friday’s service at nearby Southwark Cathedral, as the families of the victims, witnesses and police officers blamed those who lost their lives.
The Dean of Southwark, the Rev. Andrew Nunn, dedicated the Mass to the dead or wounded, as well as to “all who live by the values of inclusion and hospitality.”
He also reflected on another terrorist attack in London in November 2019 in which Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones were stabbed in Fishmongers’ Hall by Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist who was attending a prisoner rehabilitation event. He was killed by armed police on London Bridge.
After the service, guests were taken to the Cathedral Square, a short walk from the site, to witness the unveiling of a permanent memorial plaque.
Amir Eden, president of the nonprofit Living Bankside, which works with those who may need support with their health or well-being, read Mary Oliver’s Heavy Poem in Service.
He told the PA news agency: “Today has been a very important day. It was important to reflect and reconcile and never forget what had happened: eight people lost their lives, many were injured and hundreds were injured. service has allowed us to seek the light, to seek the future. In our community, we have seen time and again that unity, compassion, and hope have transcended. “
Eden also reflected on the 2017 bombing, in which he recalled “seeing a lot of people screaming and screaming and running away and a white van screaming past the bridge.”
He added: “I didn’t understand what was going on, I thought it was a traffic incident. Then I saw people fall to the ground and hold on and it was horrible. “
Candles were lit and placed on a table to illuminate the altar, in honor of those killed or wounded in the attacks.
Christine Archibald and Xavier Thomas died after being hit by a van on the bridge. Alexandre Pigeard, Sara Zelenak, Kirsty Boden, Sebastien Belanger and James McMullan were stabbed near the Boro Bistro on the South Bank. Ignacio Echeverria, died while trying to protect others from being attacked on the nearby Borough High Street.
Leader Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba clashed on Stoney Street and were shot dead by police gunmen.
After the service, arrangements of white, yellow and pink flowers were placed in front of the memorial.
An interfaith tea followed the opening of the memorial at Harper Road Mosque, with Eden saying that “tea represents British values: unity and hope” and that having a Mass at Southwark Cathedral and a tea at a mosque meant ” community inclusion “.
Boris Johnson paid tribute a post on Twitter. “Remembering all those affected by the horrific London Bridge attack five years ago. My heart goes out to the victims and their families,” the prime minister wrote.
“The indomitable spirit that Londoners showed that night and the following weeks showed that this city will never be intimidated by terror.”