King Felipe of Spain has confirmed that a posthumous award will be granted to the Spanish victim in the recent London terrorist attack.
Ignacio Echeverría, who was working in London for HSBC, was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by the Spanish government. The Prime Minister, Marian Rajoy, recommended the award to recognise his “heroic and exemplary act” where he rushed to defend a woman from the three attackers.
The Grand Cross of the Order of the Civil Merit is the second highest possible Order of the Civil Merit Award. It is awarded in recognition of “extraordinary services” by Spanish and foreign citizens who help Spain and is the highest honour civilians can receive.
El Rey firma en la Embajada en Kazajistán el Real Decreto por el que se concede la Gran Cruz del Mérito Civil al héroe Ignacio Echeverría pic.twitter.com/9gMIgZdvPy
— Casa de S.M. el Rey (@CasaReal) June 9, 2017
A government spokesperson praised the heroic actions of Ignacio as he stood defiantly in the face of terror in order to protect others. The spokesperson said: “He was a good man, an exemplary citizen who on this tragic evening had the courage to face the terrorists to try and save the life of a young woman who was being attacked.”
A government statement said: “His bravery in defending a helpless person serves as a reminder of the need to remain united before the scourge of terrorism.”
Ignacio was one of eight people killed in the terror attack which saw three assailants mow people down in a white van before getting out and stabbing those out enjoying a Saturday night.
Ignacio has been dubbed the “skateboard hero” as he rushed to defend a woman who was being assaulted with a skateboard. While using his skateboard to hit the woman’s assailants, he was stabbed in the back.
Guillermo Sánchez, Ignacio’s friend, said: “The last thing I remember is Ignacio, lying there still conscious and clutching his skateboard.”
Friends and family gathered for Ignacio’s funeral in Madrid on Sunday.
Ana Echeverría, Ignacio’s sister, said that the way Ignacio died and the reactions it brought about meant that “something very sad and very thought is turning into something more beautiful and magnificent.”