DOZENS of people stopped in the street, bowed their heads and remained silent for a minute today (July 3) to pay tribute to those killed in the Tunisian terrorist attack exactly one week ago.
Councillors, shoppers and traders lined Chapel Road and the steps of Worthing Town Hall to mark the national moment of remembrance at midday.
It comes after a terrorist from Islamic State (IS) shot and killed 38 people on a beach in Tunisia last Friday, with 30 of his victims being British nationals.
With the Union flags outside the town hall at half mast, the deputy mayor of Worthing, councillor Sean McDonald, welcomed all those who turned out to pay their respects.
He reflected upon the atrocity and called residents to join them in the minute-long tribute.
“We are gathered here today for a minute of silence to remember those who lost their lives and to reflect on what a world without terror would be like,” he said.
This is not a moment for dramatic speeches, it’s a moment for quiet reflection.Councillor Sean McDonald, deputy mayor of Worthing
“This is not a moment for dramatic speeches, it’s a moment for quiet reflection.”
Town crier and former mayor, Bob Smytherman then rang the bell at the stroke of midday, launching the one-minute silence.
People of all ages stood still to witness the solemn event.
After the 60 second silence was completed, Ann Bridges, vice chairman of Adur District Council thanked those for turning out for the commemoration.
She said: “While we remember those who have lost their lives in this horrific attack, we must also give a thought for their friends, families and loved ones who will shoulder an unimaginable loss for the rest of their lives.
“I hope they know that they have the support of the people of Adur and Worthing behind them as they work to move forward with their lives.”
The tributes came as the latest bodies of the Britains killed on the beach in Sousse by gunman Seiffedine Rezgui were flown back to the UK.
Rezqui was shot and killed by Tunisian police not long after beginning his murderous assault.
However, more of his victims are expected to be flown back to the country on an RAF plane, tomorrow.
Speaking to the Herald after the minute silence in Worthing, Mr McDonald paid tribute to the Tunisians who put their lives on the line to protect frightened holidaymakers.
He said: “This type of thing has affected everyone in this country. Either people know someone that has been directly affected or they have visited the country and recognise the area.
“The fact that this was one terrorist isn’t going to put people off. The gunman may have been a Tunisian but he was one man. There were plenty of other Tunisians that risked their lives to help save others.
“This country is hugely dependent on tourism and we should stand by them in solidarity against terrorism.”
The assault was the worst terrorist attack against UK citizens since the July 7 bombings in London, in 2005.
In that instance 52 people were killed by four suicide bombers.
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