Ladies and Gentlemen,
So many of you gathered here today have endured the most appalling loss at the hands of those whose brutal and twisted ambitions so cruelly cut short the lives of the people you loved. Others of you, I know, were horribly injured, or witnessed the most awful things in these unbearably savage attacks.
I can appreciate only too well the indescribable pain that each of you has suffered, whether recently endured or borne bravely over many decades. Having lost my own beloved great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, together with one of my godsons, when they were murdered by terrorists in 1979, I believe I may, perhaps, understand just something something of the grief, outrage and intense despair that you will each have known. There are no words, however heartfelt, that can heal your wounds and no memorial that can bring your loved ones back…
And yet, it is more than grief that brings us all here today and more than pain that unites us. In dedicating this Memorial to the memory of those who have been killed in such monstrous acts of terrorism overseas, we are remembering not only what we have all lost, but everything that we still hold dear – that the people of this country, irrespective of faith or belief, stand together, united in defiance of hate and determined that tolerance and compassion will prevail.
It is my dearest hope, therefore, that this Memorial might offer some small measure of comfort to all of you. This place will always be sacred to the memory of the parents, children siblings, aunts, uncles and friends who were taken from you. It will forever be a place of calm and contemplation, in quiet defiance of the savage chaos that made it so tragically necessary.
Above all, this memorial will stand for the courage and resilience that makes our Nation what it is, together with the values which keep us strong. It will symbolize, in perpetuity, our shared insistence that hope will always triumph over despair; and that, no matter what, our community will endure.
For our part, my wife and I could not be more touched to have been invited to be here for the dedication of this Memorial. It therefore gives us the greatest pride to join you all and to stand with you in remembering all those we have lost.