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Family devastated by Tunisia terror attack meet Prince Charles to honour victims

By Megan Archer | Staffordshire | News | Published:

A Black Country family devastated by the Tunisia terror attack met Prince Charles at the unveiling of a new memorial.

Prince Charles with Suzy Evans and son Owen, whose family members were killed in a terror attack in Tunisia

Suzy Evans and her son Owen, from Wednesbury, attended a poignant ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum yesterday.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall helped unveil the memorial, called ‘Still Water’, which will act as a focal point to honour victims of overseas terrorism.

WATCH: Prince Charles speaks at the service

Prince Charles gives speech at terror memorial dedication

Suzy, aged 49, lost her son Joel, brother Adrian Evans and father Patrick in Tunisia in 2015. Only Owen, who was just 16 at the time, came back.

The unveiling proved particularly emotional for the family, as Suzy’s mother Maureen had died on Wednesday, aged 74.

She described the ceremony as ‘beautiful’.

The dedication service for the National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire

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Suzy said: “I don’t want victims of overseas terrorism to be forgotten.

"Whether they died here in their own country or overseas, the loss is the same – and we live with it every day.”

Suzy and 18-year-old Owen met Prince Charles following the ceremony to officially dedicate the memorial.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall during the emotional event

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Pricce Charles said in his speech: “So many of you here have endured the most appalling loss at the hands of those whose brutal and twisted ambitions so cruelly cut short the lives of the people you love.

“Having lost my own beloved great uncle Lord Mountbatten, together with one of my godsons when they were murdered by terrorists in 1979, I believe I may just perhaps understand something of the grief and intense despair that you will each have known.

“There are no words, however heartfelt, that can heal your wounds and no memorial that can bring your loved ones back.

Politicians including, centre, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the service

“And yet it is more than grief that brings us all here today and more than pain that unites us.

“In dedicating this memorial to the memory of those who have been killed in such monstrous acts of terrorism overseas we are remembering not only what we have all lost but also what we all hold most dear.”

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood MP, whose brother was killed in the Bali bombings of 2002, said it was a ‘true honour’ to be at the service.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall with Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood during the ceremony

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby led the ceremony to dedicate the memorial, while Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn also attended.

The memorial’s design, as an elliptical-shaped pool surrounded by woodland, was selected by an independent panel, in consultation with victims’ relatives, in 2017.

It has no dominating symbolism but was chosen as it reflected the global reach of terrorism and the continuation of life.

The Duchess of Cornwall helps lay flowers
Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Deputy Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Deputy Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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