Utrecht quietly commemorates 2019 tram attack

On Wednesday morning, Utrecht quietly commemorated the second anniversary of a terrorist attack on a city tram that left four people dead and multiple people injured in 2019.

Mayor Sharon Dijksma, Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus, surviving relatives, victims, and first responders laid flowers at the monument in memory of the victims on Thursday morning, ANP reports. Flags in the city were hung at half mast. Jan van Zanen, who was mayor at the time of the attack, also attended the quiet memorial on 24 Oktoberplein.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, the memorial was held without audience or speeches. At 10:43 a.m., the time that the attack started on 18 March 2019, the Dom Tower struck four times, one for every person killed. A minute of silence was held.

After the ceremony, several Utrecht residents also came to lay flowers at the monument and in the fences around the tram track.

Perpetrator Gokmen T. 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 attack last year was also commemorated on a small scale. The anniversary fell just six days after the Dutch government implemented the first restrictions to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands.

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