First public memorial for Utrecht tram attack next week
Next week Friday, Utrecht will be commemorating the third anniversary of the terrorist attack on a city tram in 2019 that left four people dead and many others injured. This will be the first time the memorial is open to the public. The previous two commemorations were small-scale due to the coronavirus measures.
"It is good and important that we can commemorate the tram attack in a wide circle this year," Utrecht mayor Sharon Dijksma said. "It is an event that is etched in the memory of many Utrecht residents and people across the country. At 10:43 a.m., we will have a minute of silence for the victims and think of their relatives. They still live with a heavy loss every day."
The commemoration on 24 Oktoberplein will start at 10:30 a.m. Guildmaster Ruben van Gogh will recite a poem, mayor Dijksma will give a short speech, and then there will be a minute of silence at the time of the attack. The bells of the Dom Tower will ring four times, once for each victim. The flags on the city hall, municipal offices, and neighborhood service center will fly at half-mast on 18 March. All interested parties are welcome at the commemoration.
On 18 March 2019, Gokmen T. opened fire on a Utrecht city tram on 24 Oktoberplein, killing four people and leaving multiple others injured. He was convicted of four counts of murder or manslaughter with terrorist intent, three counts of attempted murder or manslaughter, and threatening 17 people with terrorist intent. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The first anniversary of the tram attack in 2020 fell just six days after the Dutch government implemented the first restrictions to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands.