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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

St Paul's Memorial Service for Victims of London Bombings

Thousands will also watch at Trafalgar Square

Today at 3pm there will be a memorial service in St Paul's Cathedral for the 52 people who were killed in the horrific terrorist attacks on a bus and the London Underground on July 7th. The family of the dead, plus the many hundreds who were also wounded and severely injured, the emergency services and also the Queen, Prince Phillip, Ken Livingstone and Tony Blair will attend the service at St Paul's.

The service is by invitation only, so will be relayed on giant screens at Trafalgar Square so many more people can take part, report
The Guardian.

London Bombing Martine Wright's first Television InterviewYesterday on the eve of the memorial 33 year-old Martine Wright who lost both her legs in the attacks gave her first TV interview on Tonight with Trevor McDonald. Martine criticised the Government's compensation scheme in late September in The Guardian - here and here.

London Bombings Memorial Service at St Pauls Cathedral - Photo by APSome of the family members of the victims are refusing to attend today's memorial. "Some are bitter about what they say is a failure of support from the government in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Others blame Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq for making London more vulnerable to suicide bombings." report The Guardian today and The Evening Standard last night.

However, fellow blogger Rachel one of the survivors of the King's Cross blast (a group called King's Cross United), who sometimes comments on this blog, will be attending though. She said:

"The BBC are covering the whole service live on BBC1 from 2.40pm until 4pm and simultaneously on Radio 4. You can listen to the service live on the internet stream of BBC Radio 4 and if you are in London , you can gather in Trafalgar Square to watch the service live, where we all gathered on 14th July Vigil (which me, Neil and Geoff also attended), ......"It was only the BBC that was sensitive enough to say: we won't interview service attendees - bereaved and survivors and emergency service/police/London Underground staff. We realise that this is a big day for you and want to leave you in peace.".......

If you do nothing else today, I urge you to spare 25 minutes to listen to a very graphic, but important interview that Frank Gardner (himself a paraplegic as the result of a terrorist attack) from the BBC did yesterday, where he speaks to some of those who were injured in Tube carriages, who only now feel strong enough to talk about their experiences, and members of the emergency services who worked on the London Underground that day. He says: "The trouble with the term 'injured' is that it doesn't really come close to covering the life changing wounds that some terror victims sustain and of course not all of these are physical" This is one of the best interviews I've heard which really helps you to come slightly close to understanding what it would have been like to have been in one of the blasted Tube carriages that day.

Rachel very much sees the memorial as a way of taking some steps away from the horrible things she saw and experienced in the tube carriage and says that afterwards:

"I can write about other things on this blog. The bombs have been so much a part of my life, and after tomorrow, I hope to take some steps away from them. They and the after effects will always be with me. But there are so many more things I want to live, and think about, and write about. And after the memorial, I can."

She's a very brave lady and it's mainly her we have to thank for being an online voice for the people whose lives have been changed by that terrible day.

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, November 01, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon