On Saturday morning, Utrecht will commemorate the fourth anniversary of a terrorist attack on a city tram that left four people dead. On March 18, 2019, at 10:43, Gökmen T. shot inside a tram and around the vehicle on the 24 Oktoberplein, killing four people and injuring many others.
Relatives, aid workers, witnesses, Utrecht Mayor Sharon Dijksma, members of the city council, and Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz will attend the ceremony. There will be a moment of silence in memory of the victims at 10:43 a.m., the moment the attack began. The Dom Tower will strike one time for each fatality. Flags on the city hall, city office, Vleuten-De Meern district service center, and the Dom Tower will fly at half-staff.
The commemoration will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a speech by Mayor Sharon Dijksma, and o eople will also be able to place flowers. A commemorative plaque will also be unveiled, featuring a poem by Ruben van Gogh titled, “Niemand Vergeet,” which translates to “Nobody Forgets” in English.
For the last three years, the commemoration was limited to small gatherings due to Covid-19 measures. Last year, over two hundred people attended the commemoration at the memorial site set up on 24 Oktoberplein. It was the first time the event was open to the public.
In 2021, an investigation by the Justice and Security Inspectorate concluded that the police, Public Prosecution Service (OM), and the Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI) could have done more to reduce the risk of an attack by T. According to the Inspectorate, the authorities did not pay enough attention to T., who was already well known to them. They did not adequately discuss and address his problems before the attack, which, according to the Inspectorate, did not minimize the risks to society.
However, the Inspectorate emphasized that this does not mean that the attack could have been prevented. The perpetrator had terrorist intent for his attack. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Reporting by ANP
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