Com­mu­nity unites for a day of mov­ing trib­utes to vic­tims of tower blaze

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS -

THE heart­break­ing si­lence beat on for 72 sec­onds, one for each life lost a year ago in the Gren­fell tragedy.

At the base of the white-shrouded tower at mid­day yes­ter­day, the only sounds were a cry­ing baby and dis­tant West­way traf­fic as some mourn­ers bowed their heads and oth­ers looked up.

The si­lence car­ried far away, ob­served by the House of Com­mons and the Eng­land squad train­ing in Rus­sia.

It was re­spected at the HQ of the Lon­don Fire Bri­gade, where Com­mis­sioner Dany Cot­ton com­forted fire­fight­ers as they wept.

It was ob­served, too, by the Queen and the Duchess of Sus­sex in Chester, by Prince Charles and Camilla on a visit to Ire­land and inside a memo­rial ser­vice at St He­len’s church, North Kens­ing­ton.

There were 72 sec­onds when traf­fic and pedes­tri­ans stopped and even the streets seemed to hold their breath.

One woman wiped her eyes and told me: “I have been dread­ing this day. But now I re­alise I am not alone.”

In the evening, an emo­tional hush fell again as the com­mu­nity be­gan a Silent Walk through its own streets, a re­flec­tive refuge af­ter weeks of the Gren­fell In­quiry’s sound and fury.

In be­tween, 10 hours of events de­signed by lo­cals meant that no­body had to grieve alone.

In the morn­ing, sur­vivors and be­reaved peo­ple with red-rimmed eyes had said they were up all night un­able to sleep.

Many dressed in green, the colour that has come to sig­nify Gren­fell, had vis­ited the tower to pay pri­vate re­spects.

Among them came fam­ily, friends, fire­fight­ers, po­lice and sup­port­ers of the cam­paign for jus­tice in­clud­ing singer Adele and grime star Stor­mzy, who joined the crowd to sing Lean on Me.

Mayor of Lon­don Sadiq Khan laid a wreath with a note that read: “We will never for­get the 72 in­no­cent lives lost and we will fight on un­til jus­tice is done.”

Has­san Has­san, whose wife Ra­nia and

Singer joins in with song Grime star pays re­spects

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