Bearing floral tributes, some boarded Madrid’s commuter trains this morning to remember the events of six years ago when the city was touched by terrorism.
Nearly 200 people were killed, almost 2,000 others were injured. The scale of the carnage still shocks.
The commuter rail system in the Spanish capital was the target. Bombs, hidden in backpacks, exploded in crowded rush-hours trains.
Monuments and memorials pay tribute to those who died. And today, as anniversary commemorations were held, the pain, for many, remains raw.
“Anyone could be in my place,” Pilar Manjon of a terrorism victims’ group told one ceremony.
“Anyone could miss their 20-year-old son. Anyone could have gone to work. And anyone could still be be waiting, today, six years on.”
The near-simultaneous bombings sparked political turmoil as Spain’s then conservative government first pointed the finger of blame at ETA. But the focus quickly switched from armed Basque separatists to Islamist militants. An election, days later, was won by the Socialist opposition.
A massive outpouring of grief followed the massacre. And 70,000 objects left in tribute then, letters, photographs, toys and other more surprising items, have been preserved in an ‘Archive of Mourning.’
Some tore down curtains from their own homes, using the material as a canvas on which to write the words ‘peace’ and ‘love.’
More than 20 people have been convicted of involvement in the attacks. March 11 2010 is the Sixth European Day dedicated to the Victims of Terrorism.