Families of the victims of the terrorist attack attended the commemoration.

17-08-2018Alejandro García

Yesterday was the anniversary of the terrorist attack on La Rambla in Barcelona. Prior to the commemoration there had been tension because of separatists' objections to the presence of King Felipe. His attendance was strongly supported by Prime Minister Sánchez, while Podemos had called on the separatists not to politicise what wasn't a political occasion.

The King and Queen Letizia stood next to the prime minister in a group which included the president of Catalonia, Quim Torra, and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau. The official ceremony began at half ten to remember the sixteen people who were murdered in Barcelona and Cambrils.

The political tension aside, the occasion was marked by poetry and by song. Students from the Barcelona conservatory and school of music performed John Lennon's Imagine and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, among others.

It fell to journalist Gemma Nierga to supply the address under the theme of Barcelona, city of peace. As well as the victims being remembered, there were words of recognition for the emergency services and security forces, whose dedication was an example to all. Nierga highlighted the acts of human kindness by people of Barcelona who had protected victims. This defined the "concept of civilisation and citizenship". "What happens to my neighbour, what affects my neighbour affects me. It is my responsibility as well." Nierga also spoke to the families of the victims, who had suffered so much. "The loss of loved ones is irreparable. But it should serve to make us all learn to love each other more."