One year after the devastating terrorist attacks in Barcelona on August 17, King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain led an emotional remembrance ceremony in honor of the 16 people who lost their lives. The power couple stood in solidarity with other Spanish leaders and citizens at Plaça de Catalunya, including Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and several people who were injured during the tragedy. They paid tribute to everyone affected by the two awful occurrences, the first one being a van that plowed into pedestrians in Barcelona’s popular tourist area Las Ramblas. A second incident took place in the beachside town of Cambrils, where police shot and killed five suspected terrorists who attempted to replicate the vicious act. Over 100 people were left wounded in total.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia led a remembrance for the Barcelona attack victims Photo: House of HM the King
The commemorative event was filled with incredibly touching moments. According to the New York Times, Gorgeous floral arrangements were laid atop a mural by Spanish painter Joan Miró, which was set on the exact spot where the van used in the first attack came to a stop. There were also volunteer musical performances by five municipal music schools and the Municipal Conservatory of Music of Barcelona. Over fifty musicians came out to lend their talents for the special ceremony.
Over 50 muscians lent their talents to the somber event Photo: House of HM the King
Another poignant instant was when eight young people, all of diverse religious backgrounds, read from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, a work by the English poet and cleric John Donne, in the eight different languages that the victims spoke. The King and Queen remained somber throughout, bowing their heads in respect and making sure to express their sympathies and support to attendees. They dutifully shook hands and greeted as many as they could before and after.
Letizia seemed visibly moved as she and her husband greeted victims and their families Photo: House of HM the King
Immeidately after the attacks, His Majesty had sent out a statement via the Spanish Royal Court’s Twitter account. He said in Spanish: “They are murderers, just criminals who will not terrify us. All Spain is Barcelona. Las Ramblas will be back to everyone.” The following day, the now 50-year-old monarch and his 45-year-old wife led a nationwide moment of silence as a show of tribute and strength.