The King appeals to the truth as a guarantor of the victims' dignity

Madrid woke up yesterday sunny, but cold, to honor the victims of the brutal attacks of March 11, 2004 perpetrated by Al-Qaida.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
11 March 2024 Monday 11:25
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The King appeals to the truth as a guarantor of the victims' dignity

Madrid woke up yesterday sunny, but cold, to honor the victims of the brutal attacks of March 11, 2004 perpetrated by Al-Qaida. Although the day, 20 years after the massacre that left 193 dead and more than 2,000 injured, was once again marked by division. Up to five events took place throughout the morning in the Spanish capital, although none of the two main parties or the various victims' associations agreed. The leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, was not invited to the event organized by the central government and the European Commission. According to Executive sources, because the Commission did not invite him.

This central event took place in the Gallery of the Royal Collections, where the King presided over an emotional memorial to all those affected by "a tragedy that deeply punished society and plunged it into great shock". "Within seconds or minutes we all had clear the malicious and murderous nature of that horror that instantly caused a knot in our stomach that would take a long time to disappear and that, in fact, lives on remembering it", he declared

In the presence of the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, the presidents of the Senate and the Congress of Deputies, Pedro Rollán and Francina Armengol, respectively, and several European authorities such as the European Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva Johanson, Felipe VI appealed lar to "memory", "justice" and "the truth" as commitments of "just societies to recover and protect the dignity" of the victims and praised the pedagogy developed by the various European memorials, such as those of Oslo, Paris and Vitoria, as the best tool to combat "the radicalization of our societies".

The Monarch placed the victims of terrorism as "an ethical reference" in democratic systems and underlined the valuable message they transmit to new generations that "violence is never, ever, the solution".

Continuing his speech, the King recalled how on the same evening of the tragic 11-M, and still being engaged, he went with Letícia to several Madrid hospitals trying to comfort the wounded and their relatives and stopped at the "excited and silent ones" that took place all over the country: "More than 11 million people took to the streets to convey a forceful message against terrorism. At that moment, we were not alone. And so we felt it. Solidarity crossed borders", he pointed out, recalling the marches held in various cities around the world.

When it was his turn to speak, the president of the central government, Pedro Sánchez, claimed the need to remember the victims of terrorism for their "dignity", but also to defend human rights and strengthen the rule of law, to which "they want to put an end to the terrorists".

The head of the Central Executive made an appeal to perfect the mechanisms of prevention, to ensure that no one can be attracted by the hateful ideas that he regrets circulating on social networks and to protect the ideals of justice and freedom of 'Europe. And sharing the sentiment expressed by King Felipe VI, Sánchez pointed out that "the principles of coexistence and respect are the best antidote against terrorist violence and its breeding ground, fanaticism, delusion and intolerance".

Ylva Johanson and Margaritis Schinas spoke on behalf of the European Union. The Commissioner of the Interior extended yesterday's tribute to all the people killed in acts of terrorism in Europe and elsewhere. And after explaining the specific cases of some victims present in the auditorium, he conveyed all the support of the institutions: "You paid the price for the hatred directed at our values, our societies, our democracies. They are not alone", he pointed out.

For his part, the vice-president of the European Commission for the Promotion of the European Lifestyle, Margaritis Schinas, stressed that the attacks in Madrid and other European cities were aimed at "weakening democracy and freedoms". But "they didn't succeed", said Schinas, "because these values ​​are the DNA of the European way of life".

And at the same time that another alternative tribute began in another part of Madrid, he concluded: "Terrorism cannot divide us; on the contrary: it requires more unity”.