London Bridge attack: Bustling Borough Market remembers

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Image caption London Bridge was closed to traffic for the commemoration

Borough Market is usually quiet on a Sunday but a year on from the London Bridge attack people walked around with even more hushed tones.

Large parts of the area were cordoned off to allow the families of victims and emergency workers space to commemorate the events of 3 June 2017.

A year ago three men drove a van into pedestrians on the bridge then descended on the busy Borough Market, killing eight people and injuring 48 others. Some were left with life-changing injuries.

London Bridge attack: Bustling Borough Market remembers
London Bridge attack: Bustling Borough Market remembers

Holding a bouquet of lilies, Lucy Fisher watched as hundreds of people entered Southwark Cathedral, metres from where her cousin’s life was taken.

James McMullan, 32, was one of the eight people that died.

“It was a terrible time,” she said.

The majority of the victims were tourists or foreigners working in London. Some attendees had flown to the UK especially for the service, clutching their passports and orders of service in one hand, flowers in the other.

Away from Southwark Cathedral, the area’s pubs and restaurants also remained quiet.

Staff in the pubs – who last year courageously protected customers by barricading the doors of their establishments – refuse to discuss the harrowing experience.

One manager said: “We don’t want to talk about that night, we just want to try and move on.”

Image caption Cara and James made to The Market Porter in Stoney Street, where people barricaded themselves while the attackers ran amock

James and his daughter, Cara, from west London, know a man who was injured that night.

“We come to London Bridge quite a lot but we’ve made the trip especially today because of the service and to pay our respects,” said James.

“We have to take our hat off to the people of Borough Market and to those who were there that evening.”

Image caption More than 1,000 people observed the minute’s silence at the Southwark Needle

As 700 guests commemorated those who were affected inside the cathedral, hundreds of others gathered around the Southwark Needle.

Rashid Hamaida, a telecommunications salesman who lives in Borough, was there when the attackers struck.

“Initially it was utter confusion,” he said. “You were terrified, you just wanted to get out.”

His wife, Jane, and their daughter, Alexis, joined the crowd to pay their respects.

“We’re proud to be British, we’re proud to be Londoners, we’re proud to be from Borough,” Jane said. “We just want to stand in solidarity with everyone else who has suffered through these terrorist attacks.”

Debra, who has lived in south London her whole life, described how her son was travelling to London Bridge Station on the night of the attack.

“I was frantic trying to get hold of him to come back,” she said. “Today was necessary. People know the importance of being here.”

Image copyrightAFP
Image caption Politicians, families of the victims, and members of the public laid flowers at the Southwark Needle as a mark of respect for the victims

After the hour-long service, guests made their way to Southwark Needle in complete silence.

Then the victims’ families laid flowers as more than 1,000 people watched, remembering the horrific events that took place.

After the service, the crowds dispersed, breaking their reverent silence and going about their normal day.

Image caption Jen de Polo and Katie Miller went about their normal day. Ms Miller said: “I think it’s very typical of London and British culture”

But for Katie Miller and Jen de Polo, it had to be a visit to the Wheatsheaf pub – where armed officers shot the three attackers.

“I think it’s very typical of London and British culture,” said Katie. “We don’t let any of that type of thing stopping us doing what we want to do.”

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