Today marks a year since the awful events at Grenfell Tower – a day when so many precious lives were lost and the lives of so many others were forever changed.
The anniversary of this devastating event comes just a couple of weeks into the public inquiry, and soon after families gave incredibly emotional and moving accounts of the 72 loved ones lost, detailing their lives, their personalities, their contributions to society.
Quite rightly, today is not about questions or investigations into how the fire started or what went wrong, it is about remembering those people and giving their relatives further time to grieve.
Having got to know the families closely over the past year, I know how difficult they have found the process. Such has been the scale of what happened, and the outfall from it, these people have rarely been given the time to grieve.
As stressed by our instructed barrister Leslie Thomas QC last week at the inquiry, many survivors continue to suffer the mental anguish and effects of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrors of the night, and the aftermath of the fire.
For many of the clients whom I represent, the anniversary offers an opportunity for those affected to come together to share their grief and offer one another their support, and the strength of the Grenfell community has been something which has stood out over the past 12 months. People have found strength in one another.
Staging a 24-hour vigil, members of the grieving north Kensington have come together, and with all the names of all victims being read out at St Clements’ church, and survivors and bereaved joining together close to the tower’s base to observe a minute’s silence, the focus today has rightly been allowed to focus entirely on remembrance.
Our thoughts at Hudgell Solicitors are with not only those we represent, but everybody whose life was affected by the tragic events of June 14, 2017, and to all the bereaved family members, survivors and local residents – we stand side by side with you, we support you and we will work fearlessly for you until the truth, accountability and justice are served.