Four years on: 7/7 memorial unveiled

By Ian Dunt

A memorial to the 52 victims of the 7/7 terrorist atrocities will be unveiled in Hyde Park later today.

The London Bombing Memorial will be opened in the presence of the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of York, senior political figures and victims’ families.

However, on the 4th anniversary of the attacks a Commons report said the London tube and bus network remains “extremely vulnerable” to terrorist attack.

“The London Underground network will always be a high-profile and iconic target for would-be terrorists,” the Commons home affairs select committee concluded.

Since the attacks, a new communications system, has been introduced, which allows underground communications between the emergency services and London Underground staff. A series of counter-terrorism exercises has also been staged to better prepare staff.

Keith Vaz, the committee chair, said the continuing and grave threat from terrorism must never be underestimated.

However, he said the committee had “every confidence that the government’s apparatus is effective and ‘joined up’ and capable of the large and difficult task it faces.”

The 7/7 memorial is composed of 52 stainless steel pillars, symbolising the victims of the bombings.

The pillars are bunched together in four inter-linking clusters, representing the four separate incidents.

Each cluster bears an inscription of the date and location of the particular incident that it represents.

A metal plaque, listing the names of the victims, is set into the grass bank at the far eastern end of the memorial.

Shahid Malik, minister for communities and local government said: “Britons of all faiths and backgrounds lost their lives that day four years ago when a maelstrom of carnage and terror was brought to our capital with over 50 dead and hundreds wounded.

“A nation was left reeling from the shock that the perpetrators were among ‘our own’ – British born Muslims. Now, four years on we must all renew our efforts and challenge those who seek to undermine and divide the cohesive and resilient communities in which we all want to live and raise our families.”

The attacks, which took place four years ago, represented the final stage of a coordinated attempt to strike at the heart of the UK.

Three tube stations and a bus were targeted by the bombers.