Prince William attends emotional service at 7/7 memorial in London
Published 07/07/2015 | 18:21
Britain's Prince William has attended an emotional service at the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park as hundreds gathered to remember the victims of the London terrorist attacks.
Relatives of victims, as well as survivors, were seated next to the permanent memorial as members of the public looked on from behind barriers.
The Rock Choir sang, the crowd heard readings and more flowers were laid at the spot where Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor or London Boris Johnson laid wreaths earlier.
There were 400 people seated at the service, and Prince William stood and chatted to many of them when the service was over.
Survivor Emma Craig, who was 14 in 2005 and is now 24, wept as she spoke to the crowd, and 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."
Ms Craig, who was on her way to work experience at a legal firm in Tower Hill, said she "struggled a lot afterwards" because she was scared of being weak.
She recalled her mother ringing her to check she was okay as she had heard about a bomb going off, and she remembered saying to her mother: "Mum I was there. I was on the Tube."
She said her mother does not swear and recalled her saying: "Sugar. I'm on my way."
Ms Craig said that while quite often people will say "terrorism won't break us", she added: "The fact is it may not have broken London but it did break some of us."
Ms Craig, who was not injured, said sometimes she feels people are so "hellbent" on terrorism not breaking us that they "forget about all the people who got caught up in it".
Afterwards, Ms Craig, from Friern Barnet in north London,said she did not really talk about her experience for about six years.
"I've never really spoken publicly about it," she said.
Ms Craig, who works in marketing, said she thought it was "important" to speak at the service.
"There were some things I wanted to say not just to survivors but to the bereaved families as well," she said, adding that there were things she wanted to say that people had "never said before".
She said some survivors have post traumatic stress disorder and struggle to put put into words what their emotions are.
Ms Craig said her mother was "terrified", and recalled how she did not have any cash for a taxi so her work colleagues all "threw money at her".
She said one of her most poignant memories of that day was how everyone came out of restaurants and office buildings to see what they could do to help.
"They all came together irrespective of what their background was," she said.
Survivor Sudhesh Dahad, who was on the King's Cross/Russell Square train, also made an emotional speech.
He told the crowd the tragic events of 10 years ago still have an impact on him today.
But he said he tried to be the "archetypal stoic" at the time, adding: "We all felt a responsibility to get on with our lives in defiance of the terrorists."
Tracy Russell, from the London Ambulance Service, recalled the events of July 7 2005, remembering her walk through the Tube tunnel at Russell Square and the "smoke catching in our throats, adrenaline pumping through our veins".
She said: "This is a day that I never wish to know again."
Former firefighter Paul Dadge spoke at the service too. He said he had been struck by an "overwhelming guilt that there was not more I could have done".
Survivor Tim Coulson read the names of the 52 victims, and Esther Hyman, sister of victim Miriam Hyman, also addressed the crowd.
The service included a minute's silence and people were invited to lay flowers as the choir sang songs including True Colours and Something Inside So Strong. Gerald Oppenheim, former chair of the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund, spoke throughout the service.
Prince William, dressed in a dark suit, carried yellow flowers up to the memorial at the end of the service.
A note, next to the flowers that looked like the bunch carried up by William, said: "In memory of those who lost their lives and those injured in the atrocities of 7th July 2005."