Seventeen years later Madrid remembers this Thursday the victims of the 11M attacks on an anniversary restricted by the pandemic, in which the central tribute is constituted by an act of State presided over by kings. This act is part of the commemoration of the European Day for the Victims of Terrorism, set on March 11 of each year by the European Parliament days after the jihadist massacre in the capital in 2004.
The tribute will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the gardens of the Royal Palace, which will facilitate compliance with the hygienic-sanitary measures for the prevention of contagion by covid, and will have the presence of various authorities and representatives of the associations of victims of terrorism. Chaired by the kings, the head of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez, ministers, representatives of all the powers of the State, European institutions, autonomous communities, political parties, as well as victims of terrorism from Spain and Europe are expected to attend.
Before that, at 09.00 hours, at the Puerta del Sol, the traditional tribute of the Community of Madrid will be held together with the plaque in memory of the deceased, the injured and those who helped them that day. The president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, will attend, accompanied by representatives of different institutions.
The European Commission commemorates the seventeenth European Day for the Victims of Terrorism in an event, at 9.30 a.m., in which the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, will participate, along with others national authorities and European Union countries. During the commemoration, people who have been victims of terrorism, victims’ associations and emergency services will share their testimonies and experiences.
At noon, El Retiro Park will host as every year the tribute of the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) together with the 191 cypresses and olive trees that make up the Forest of Remembrance. Also the Association 11M-Affected of Terrorism will celebrate the usual acts in the four points where the bombs exploded: Atocha Station, Tellez Street, Santa Eugenia and El Pozo.
In these acts, convened together with the CCOO and UGT unions and the Union of Actors and Actresses, capacity is limited to 50 people, except in the El Pozo station, in which 150 will participate. Hygienic measures such as the use of masks and the safety distance will be kept in all of them.
In total, 193 people of 17 different nationalities – the Spanish the most numerous with 143 victims – lost their lives in the attacks: 34 in the train that exploded at the Atocha station; 63 as it passes through Téllez street; 65 in the one of the station of the Well; 14 in Santa Eugenia and 16 in different hospitals, the last of them in 2014, after staying in a coma for ten years. These were joined by the GEO police officer Francisco Javier Torronteras three weeks later, on April 3, 2004, as a result of the injuries suffered when seven members of the jihadist commando responsible for the massacre committed suicide using the explosives they stored in a Leganés apartment. (Madrid).