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Hillsborough Memorial

The Flag on St Georges Hall flying at half-mast

I don't normally post modern day photographs on 'Liverpool Picturebook' or write current events articles, but this is an exception. The unveiling of the new Hillsborough Memorial in Liverpool yesterday will be a part of the history of the City of Liverpool forever.

On 14th April 2013, I stood among a crowd of people and members of the press from the UK and abroad all assembled at the Old Haymarket to watch the unveiling ceremony for the new Hillsborough monument.  The new memorial stands at the foot of St Johns Gardens. Families of the 96 were there to see its dedication. Ccreated by sculptor Tom Murphy the bronze which stands 7’ high bears the words  ‘Hillsborough Disaster – we will remember them’. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign commissioned the memorial and has now formally donated it to the city as a lasting tribute to the 96.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson opened the proceedings and said: “We will never forget those who lost their lives at Hillsborough, or the impact the disaster has had on their bereaved families. The anger, pain and sorrow they have felt for the past 24 years is shared by everyone in Liverpool, and by thousands of others across Merseyside, across the country and around the world.

“That’s why it’s important the city has these permanent memorials, as a symbol of our solidarity and support for the families of the 96 and as a permanent reminder of the long and difficult fight for truth and justice. They will also serve as a powerful symbol of what has been a momentous year for the city, with the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report.

“It is to the credit of families that they have never given up on their quest to find out what happened on that dreadful day, and have continued to act with dignity and bravery. Following the publication of the report, which revealed the disastrous failings of the public authorities on the day, and the conspiracy to shift the blame onto fans, it is more important than ever that we continue to support them to ensure they get the justice they deserve.”

Lord Mayor of Liverpool at the time, Councillor Sharon Sullivan, said: “This will be an emotional day for Liverpool which will see our city establishing a lasting tribute to those who died at Hillsborough. These memorials will serve as a reminder of the events of that terrible day, and ensure no one ever forgets the sadness and suffering it has caused in the years since.
“I speak on behalf of the city in saying to the families of the 96 that we stand united behind them, that we commend their bravery and that we will continue to support them in their fight for justice.”

Tom Murphy then addressed the families and others present telling us that he wanted the theme of the memorial to be “tranquil”.   The memorial is drum-shaped - the idea behind it to create a kind of memory box and something  that visitors can walk around.  Tom introduced  David Charters who wrote a poem for the dedication, David said he was “deeply moved and honoured” to be part of the occasion.

He then read his poem.

So, as one, the hushed crowd turned the pages of the book that held the names of the dead
And the sound that rose from them was like a great flapping of birds' wings
Into the dark sky and beyond, it carried the memories of those who had gone, 
the teachers whose wisdom was lost, the parents who will never cradle children, 
the makers whose hands were stilled, 
the jokers whose laughter vanished, 
the singers whose songs are silence, 

the lovers whose love lasts forever.

The idea for a memorial in the city centre was first raised by Rosie Fitzpatrick when she was seven years old. She is now 15.

In conclusion Mayor Anderson thanked everyone for coming and said “the fight for justice will go on”.

Flowers were laid following the speeches as Danielle Thomas sang 'Pie Jesu', the families were invited to have a closer look at the monument  before members of the public were allowed through the barriers to see the monument close up. Many stood in line to touch the names of the dead and some touched and kissed the 96 symbol on the memorial.

The sculptor of the memorial Tom Murphy posed for photographs next to his work.

Tom Murphy (far right) pictured standing next to his work.

In another private ceremony yesterday an ornate mahogany clock with the hands stopped at 3:06pm was unveiled at the town hall in Liverpool.

Below are a selection of photographs that I took to mark the event.

Sculptor Tom Murphy (right) with his memorial work


You can view more of the photographs on

By Robert F Edwards

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