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Tunisia attack: memorial and Service of Remembrance

( By Shahid Qureshi) Funding announced for a memorial dedicated to victims of the Tunisian attack and a separate memorial for UK victims of terrorism overseas.

The Prime Minister also confirmed plans for a special service for those caught up in the Tunisian atrocity to be held in the autumn.

The announcements come as the country prepares to remember the 52 victims, and hundreds of survivors, of the 7/7 London bombings. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial in Hyde Park and a national service of commemoration at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the tenth anniversary.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Those who lost their lives in Tunisia last week were innocent victims of a brutal terrorist atrocity. It is right that we mark and commemorate them and others murdered by terrorists overseas, appropriately and support the loved ones they have left behind in every way we can.

The memorials will be funded by banking fines, which are allocated by Chancellor George Osborne. Mr Osborne decided that good causes should benefit from the misdemeanours of bankers, and that penalties levied by the Financial Conduct Authority should be reserved for such a purpose. More details will be announced in this week’s Budget.

Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood, whose brother Jonathan was killed in the Bali bombing of 2002, will continue to work closely with the families to ensure the government does all it can to support their immediate needs and to discuss the longer-term plan for the memorial and remembrance service.

Mr Ellwood said the government would discuss the location and design of the memorial to the Tunisia victims with their families in the months ahead.

He said:

This memorial will be for the families, so we want to talk to them about our plans to determine what they feel is most appropriate. It could well be that it is located in the north, since very sadly most of the victims were from that part of the country.

Having been through a similar situation, I know how important it is that these families, who have been united by a single tragedy, have that marked in one place. They will end up providing mutual support to each other, and to have this memorial to their loved ones will be very important. It is also right that the nation recognises the scale of this appalling event.

Mr Ellwood, who has led a long campaign for a single memorial to all victims of terrorism overseas, said he was delighted this would also go ahead.

Sadly, we live in very difficult and dangerous times. We have to recognise that there are many victims of terrorism who do not have a grave, whose families don’t have a place where they can lay flowers and grieve in the normal way.

It is therefore appropriate that we have a national memorial for those caught up in terrorism abroad. These people must never be forgotten.

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