Britain falls silent to remember victims of 7/7

Britain fell silent yesterday in tribute to victims of terrorism for the second time in less than a week as the 7 July attacks were remembered.

People pay tribute to victims of the bus bombing near Tavistock Square. Picture: Getty

There were emotional scenes as survivors and families of those killed gathered to mark the tenth anniversary of the bombings.

At 11:30am, a national minute of silence was held after the names of the 52 victims were read out during a service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

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Tube trains and buses stopped, while the tennis was delayed at Wimbledon. After the silence, petals were released from the dome of the cathedral and four candles were lit to symbolise the four blast sites.

The Duke of Cambridge met survivors at a memorial event in Hyde Park. Picture: PA

Last Friday a similar period of quiet was held a week on from the Tunisian beach massacre, in which 30 Britons were murdered.

Ten years ago four suicide bombers carried out the single worst terrorist atrocity on British soil when they attacked London’s transport network.

Yesterday morning services were held at the exact time that the capital came under attack ten years ago.

Mr Cameron and Boris Johnson laid wreaths at the permanent memorial to the 52 people killed at 8:50am, while at the same time victims’ families and survivors gathered at stations affected by the outrage.

It was at 8:50am a decade ago that there were three almost simultaneous explosions on the Underground.

The Prime Minister and the Mayor of London were among those who paid their respects in a short, sombre ceremony at the memorial in Hyde Park, central London.

In a note attached to his wreath, Mr Cameron wrote: “To the victims of terrorism in London ten years ago today. We grieve your loss and will honour your memory for ever.”

Speaking before the service, Mr Johnson said the four suicide bombers had “failed in their aim”.

He said the terrorists “didn’t in any way change the fundamentals of London and what makes this city great”, adding: “Indeed, it’s gone from strength to strength in the ten years since.

“I think most people would say that London has become even more cosmopolitan, even more welcoming.”

At Edgware Road station, survivors laid flowers and gathered alongside families of victims in the ticket hall for the minute’s silence.

Wreaths and bouquets were laid in front of a plaque which commemorates the attack. A man stood, with his head in his hands, silently crying, as he remembered the victims. A woman walked from the crowd wiping away tears.

Flowers were laid and silences were observed at King’s Cross and Aldgate, while there was also a service at Tavistock Square, where a fourth bomb was detonated on a number 30 bus just under an hour after the three blasts on the Underground.

Survivors and victims’ relatives were among around 2,000 people to attend the service at St Paul’s. They were joined by dignitaries including Mr Cameron, Tony Blair and the Duke of Cambridge.

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, told the congregation: “Soon after 7/7 the families and friends of the victims compiled a book of tributes. It is a taste of the ocean of pain surrounding the loss of each one of the victims.”

Later the Duke of Cambridge joined survivors and victims’ families at the memorial at Hyde Park for a service featuring music and readings.

Emma Craig, who was 14 when she was caught up in the Aldgate blast, wept as she spoke to the crowd.

Now 24, she said: “All of us lost our innocence on that day, our naivety, the thought that ‘something like that could never happen to me’ or even to London.”

In a deeply moving moment, she said: “Quite often, people say ‘it didn’t break us, terrorism won’t break us’.

“The fact is it may not have broken London, but it did break some of us. Sometimes I feel that people are so hell-bent on trying to make a point about terrorism not breaking us that they forget about all the people that got caught up in it.

“Not for my sake, but for those who were killed on that day and their families... may we never forget.”