Spain To Mark 10th Anniversary Of Madrid Terrorist Attacks
McClatchy Tribune Service
MADRID — Spain will on Tuesday mark the 10th anniversary of the 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid with a series of events.
The train bombings across the city on March 11 2004 left 191 people dead and injured more than 1,800.
A service for survivors, relatives of the victims, and Spanish royals is to take place at the Almudena Cathedral on Tuesday.
A memorial concert will feature musicians Jorge Drexler, Ariel Rot and Ismael Serrano, while exhibitions and other official events will take place throughout the week.
Three associations representing victims of the attacks plan to mark the anniversary separately.
The bombings, which produced one of the bloodiest days in modern Spain, remain a politically divisive issue. Some victims have pressed for more extensive investigations, and many say the punishment of the perpetrators has not been severe enough.
Islamist militants were blamed for the attack, which came three days before a national election. The surprise victory for socialist candidate for prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came after his rival fingered the Basque separatist group ETA despite indications to the contrary.
Twenty-one people were convicted over the attacks and seven acquitted. Some were sentenced to thousands of years in prison, but in Spain a prison term cannot exceed 40 years. Eight people have already been released.
Pilar Manjon, the president of the 11-M Association of People Affected by Terrorism whose son was killed in the attacks, told the German news agency dpa that one of her struggles is to keep the memory of the attacks alive.
“I am a little like the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,” she said, referring to the Argentine women’s organization remembering children lost to military dictatorship.
“Neither forgive, nor forget. But hate is such a waste of energy it’s not worth dragging through life.”