Friday, July 07, 2006

UK prepares to remember 7/7

Nation prepares to remember 7/7
The UK is preparing to mark the first anniversary of the London bombings that claimed 52 lives and injured hundreds.

At midday, a two-minute silence will be observed across the country, including Wimbledon and other events.

The bells of St Paul's Cathedral will toll for those who died, at the times of the bombings and after the silence.

A public ceremony will be held later in London's Regent's Park, with musical performances and readings, and a recital of the names of the dead.

The commemoration comes as the chief constable of one of the forces investigating the bombings on three London Underground trains and a bus says he believes another 7 July-style attack in the UK is "very possible".

0800-1600 : Public invited to add flowers to mosaic in Queen Mary's Gardens, Regent's Park.
1200 : National two-minute silence
1230 : Multi-faith service of remembrance, St Pancras Church, Euston Road
1800-1830 : Commemorative event, Queen Mary's Gardens, Regent's Park

Colin Cramphorn, Chief Constable of the West Yorkshire force, said there was evidence that "further attacks are not just fanciful, they are very possible".

His warning comes a day after a video of one of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer, was aired on al-Jazeera television, showing the 22-year-old from Bradford warning of further attacks.

Police said the timing was designed to cause "maximum hurt" and Downing Street said the attention should "focus on the quiet reflection of the nation".

Private events

Friday's remembrance events are organised by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and are intended to unite families, survivors and Londoners in remembrance. From 0800 BST until 1600 BST the public will be invited to lay a purple carnation within a giant floral mosaic in Queen Mary's Gardens, Regent's Park. The flowers will be provided.

Later, survivors and the bereaved will complete the centre of the mosaic with yellow gerberas, and the members of the public can pay their respects over the weekend.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and London mayor Ken Livingstone will lay flowers at King's Cross station at the exact time of the attacks.

Confidential helpline to provide advice and support to anyone affected by events of 7 July or the anniversary
Phones manned 24 hours from 5-10 July
Centre and helpline open seven days a week at all other times - answerphone service at night
Also supports those affected by recent bombings in Doha, Sharm El Sheikh, Turkey, Bali and Dahab, and Bahrain boat disaster
Helpline - 0845 054 7444

Mr Livingstone told the BBC News website that Friday was a time to remember those individuals whose lives were ruined by the attack and a time to be proud of London's unique character, which was a source of envy to the bombers.

Other events on Friday will be held in private for victims' families and survivors, including the unveiling of memorial plaques at the affected Tube stations and at Tavistock Square, the scene of the bus blast.

A Book of Tributes, with a foreword from the Prince of Wales and tributes from the bereaved, will also be unveiled in a private event.

A helpline run by the 7 July Assistance Centre will be manned 24 hours a day over the anniversary period until Monday 10 July.

The centre said there had been a "significant increase" in the number of calls recently, with many people getting in touch for the first time as anxiety grows about the anniversary.

The 7 July Assistance Centre can be contacted on 0845 054 7444.

Story from BBC NEWS: