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The Duke of Sussex opens memorial to Tunisia attack victims

The Duke of Sussex travelled to Birmingham’s Cannon Hill Park Monday to dedicate a memorial to the British nationals who were killed in the 2015 Tunisia terror attacks.

He joined friends and family members of victims for the dedication service, as well as the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Yvonne Mosquito, and Harriet Baldwin, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development.

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The ceremony was led by the BBC’s Ben Brown, who reported from Tunisia in June 2015 following the attacks. The event featured a performance by the Birmingham Bach Choir and readings by families of the victims.

The Duke of Sussex gave a short speech to officially dedicate the new Sousse and Bardo memorial.

“In memory of all those who lost their lives. And to the families whose lives were changed forever by these events,” Harry said. “I would like to pay my deepest respects to you and officially dedicate this memorial to your loved ones.”

He then laid a single white rose on the memorial.

Sixty people died in two separate terror attacks, including 30 Britons at the popular beach resort Port El Kantaoui on 26 June. Sally Adey, a 57-year-old Shropshire woman, was killed during an earlier attack on 18 March at the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

A memorial service was held in 2016 at Westminster Abbey for the victims, during which the Duke of Sussex gave a reading. After yesterday’s dedication service, the Duke met with family members who lost loved ones in Tunisia.

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The Birmingham memorial, designed by King George Architects, features a sculpture titled Infinite Wave as its centrepiece. Each stainless steel “stream” on the wave represents one of the 31 Britons who died in the Tunisian attacks and has their name engraved on it.

The ripples surrounding the wave represent the impact on survivors, family, friends, and the community. From the side, the sculpture looks like a dove taking flight.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office led the design and construction of the Sousse and Bardo memorial and consulted with family members of victims to determine its location. The memorial overlooks the park’s boating lake, and the site was chosen specifically for its peaceful yet prominent setting.

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“The huge sense of loss and grief felt by the families of the victims of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Tunisia will never leave them, but I hope this memorial will be a place where the families and loved ones of the victims, and all those affected, can find some solace and a point of remembrance in a tranquil setting, ” said Baldwin.

“The construction of a permanent memorial dedicated to those who were so tragically killed underlines our pledge to never forget the victims of these atrocities.”

Last month, seven people were sentenced to life in prison in connection with the attacks. These were the deadliest attacks on British nationals since London’s 7/7 bombings in 2005, which killed 52 people.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. She blogs about royal fashion and travel at Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.