This week the world commemorated the one year anniversary of the Grenfell fire disaster that that killed 72 people. It was the greatest loss of life in a fire on British soil since World War II, a horror that left a country in shock.
On Thursday (UK time), survivors, bereaved families and people around Britain marked the anniversary of the Grenfell fire, that’s also a national shame – one for which blame still is being assigned and traded. Was Grenfell a tragic accident, the product of government cost-cutting and lax safety standards, or authorities’ disregard for people who lived in public housing?
More than 100 people – either survivors of the fire or close relatives of the victims – laid white roses at the foot of the Grenfell fire site on Thursday in an intensely emotional ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy.
High-rise apartment towers are supposed to be designed to stop apartment fires spreading. But within minutes, the flames had escaped Kebede’s apartment and raced up the outside of the 25-story tower like a lit fuse.
Addressing the service, Labour MP David Lammy, whose family friend died in the fire, said it was a “bittersweet” moment as the community celebrated their unity but mourned those lost.
The tower and other London buildings were lit up overnight in green, which has been adopted as a colour of remembrance. At noon, Queen Elizabeth II, wearing green, joined Britons across the country in observing a minute of silence for the dead.