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Memorial service held to mark five years since Westminster Bridge terror attack

By Adam Davidson

A memorial service has been held commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack.

The service was held yesterday, five years to the day since Khalid Masood drove a van into innocent bystanders on the south side of the bridge.

The act killed four people, including Clapham window cleaner Leslie Rhodes and Lambeth administrator Aysha Frade. About 50 other people were also injured.

Masood then crashed his van into the perimeter fence of the Palace of Westminster and ran into the grounds, where he stabbed to death lifelong Charlton Athletic fan PC Keith Palmer, 48.

Although unarmed, PC Palmer had managed to stop the knife-wielding terrorist from entering the Palace of Westminster before he was fatally injured.

He subsequently received the George Medal for his actions.

Masood was then shot by an armed officer and died on the scene.

Friends and colleagues fondly remember PC Palmer’s passion for Charlton Athletic football club, which honoured him after his death by replacing his regular seat at The Valley Stadium with a white chair bearing his warrant number.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Five years on from this tragedy that touched so many, I join you not to mourn. Nor to add more tears to those already shed.

“Instead I am here to celebrate the lives of Andreea, Aysha, Kurt and Leslie. They were each taken from us far too soon.

“But they each live on in all our hearts and in the memories of those they loved, and those who loved them around the world.

“Because as the Lord Mayor was just saying, the diversity of their origins shows the truth that an attack on London, like an attack on Manchester, is an attack on the world.

“I am here to celebrate the extraordinary heroism of PC Keith Palmer. A man whose actions that bright spring day showed him to be truly the best among us, and whose courage and sacrifice remain an inspiration to us all.”

Pictured top: Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick lays a wreath

 


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