Utrecht commemorates third anniversary of terrorist attack on city tram
On Friday morning, over 200 relatives, victims, witnesses, and involved Utrecht residents commemorated a terrorist attack on a city tram on 24 Oktoberplein. Gokmen T. opened fire on the express tram to the city center three years ago, killing four people and injuring many others.
The commemoration was open to the public for the first time. Due to coronavirus lockdowns, the first two commemorations had to be held in a small circle. The gunman was sentenced to life in prison for the terrorist act.
"Terrorism is always meaningless and destructive," said deputy mayor Lot van Hooijdonk. According to Van Hooijdonk, the attack "changed the world forever" for victims, aid workers, and relatives.
The alderman stood in for Sharon Dijksma, who couldn't attend because she has the coronavirus. She called it "very annoying" that she couldn't be at the first public memorial, speaking to RTV Utrecht. "This is a moment that you have to be there. I am someone who is very precise bout that, and letting that go is very sour."
After a minute of silence, police officers, paramedics, relatives, Minster Dilan Yeşilgöz of Justice and Security, and deputy Arne Schaddelee, among others, laid flowers on the monument in memory of the attack. The Domtoren's bells rang four times, once for each person killed.
Soms voelt het als gisteren en soms als een eeuwigheid geleden. Vandaag is het precies 3 jaar geleden dat alles tot stilstand kwam. De zinloze laffe tramaanslag van toen dreunt vandaag nog steeds door. Het verdriet blijft. En wat ook blijft: Utreg buigt nooit. pic.twitter.com/B4E3XDIlGr— Gemeente Utrecht (@GemeenteUtrecht) March 18, 2022
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.