7/7 survivor in bombing sites walk


Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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A survivor of the 7/7 London bombings will be joined by faith leaders today to retrace where the devastating bombings took place nearly 10 years ago.

Gill Hicks, who lost both of her legs in the terrorist attack, will walk from King’s Cross to Tavistock Square alongside the religious leaders in a “moment of quiet remembrance” to pay tribute to the 52 people who died.

She will carry a floral tribute reading “Together” along with Imam Qari Asim, of Leeds’ largest mosque Makkah Masjid, t he Rev Bertrand Olivier, vicar of All-Hallows-by-the-Tower in the City of London, and Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, from Movement for Reform Judaism.

The small procession is part of an initiative calling on people in London to “walk together” on the 7/7 anniversary tomorrow by finishing their morning bus or Underground commute one stop early and walking the last few minutes.

It has been backed by politicians Boris Johnson, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith.

Ms Hicks said: “My life and those around me changed forever on July 7 2005. I believe in the power and brilliance of humanity – my life was saved by strangers, people who never gave up, people who risked their own lives to save mine.

“To them, I was a precious human life – my rescue wasn’t dependent on my faith, my colour, my gender or wealth.

“Walking Together allows us the time and space to talk, to share and to know the ‘other’. Our unity can offer the strength to not only deter anyone from following the path of violent extremism, but to also build a sustainable peace.”

Mr Asim said: “This is an important moment for us all in Britain – a time to mourn and remember, but also to think about the society we are and that we want to be.

“It’s been a difficult decade and we still face many problems. For me as a Muslim, it’s important to challenge these vile people who claim to be acting in the name of my faith when they kill innocent men and women. For us all, it’s important to stand together in the face of those who want to divide us.”

Think-tank British Future, which helped to organise the event, said the idea was inspired by the scenes on London’s streets 10 years ago when public transport closed down and thousands walked home.

Mr Olivier said: “The 2005 bombings were a tragedy for all of London and on this 10th anniversary it is clearer than ever that we must keep working together as neighbours with hope, tolerance and care to ensure that extremists who seek to drive a wedge between us do not succeed.”

Ms Janner-Klausner said: “The attacks on London were an attack on all of us – black and white, rich and poor, different faiths and none. That’s why we’ve decided to join hands today and call on people all over Britain to walk side by side in a moment of remembrance and of unity on 7/7. That would be a very powerful statement about who we are as a country.”

There were emotional scenes outside King’s Cross as Ms Hicks was greeted by Pc Andrew Maxwell, who saved her life ten years ago. Pc Maxwell received a bravery award for his actions on the Tube in 2005. They hugged in front of a crowd of cameras before departing to speak privately.

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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