Monument planned for British victims

War on Terrorism: Memorial
Click to follow
The Independent Online

A permanent monument to the British victims of the American terrorist attacks is planned by the Government.

Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, also announced that a memorial service will be held in Britain for friends and families to pay their last respects.

The total number of British deaths is estimated at 200. Hundreds of family members have flown to New York City to view the recovery task.

Ms Jowell told GMTV: "I think that there is a sense that we want a long-term memorial to those people who died in those dreadful events ... yes, that is in hand." Whitehall sources suggested the memorial could go up in the City of London to reflect the high proportion of Britons killed who worked in the finance sector.

Ms Jowell, who is in charge of co-ordinating help for relatives of victims, said: "There are plans in due course for a memorial service in Britain and I think that, as time goes by, it is something we will want to talk to the families about. We will also want to talk to the banks and the other businesses whose employees were killed." Ms Jowell will fly to New York on Wednesday to meet victims' families and attend a memorial service.

Those given the job of organising a memorial will be anxious to avoid the political squabbles and moral disagreements that hampered efforts to find a suitable commemoration of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Princess Diana Memorial Fund has so far distributed or pledged £35m ­ including £5m towards a project to help terminally ill African children ­ and a children's playground was opened next to her former home in Kensington Gardens. But delays in building a £5m memorial fountain beside the Serpentine in Hyde Park, which will not be ready until 2003, have angered campaigners for a monument.

* An emergency package of aid for the beleaguered British tourist industry is being prepared by the Government. The number of foreign visitors is expected to slump by 20 per cent as a result of the terrorist strikes in America and the earlier effects of the foot-and-mouth epidemic.