Parents accept honour for murdered ‘skateboard hero’
The father of a Catholic hero honoured for his actions at the London Bridge terror attack has said he is “sorry” that his son could not collect the medal himself.
Ignacio Echeverria, who was killed as he tried to help a woman being attacked, was among those to receive honours at Buckingham Palace last week.
He was posthumously awarded The George Medal for “confronting armed terrorists in order to protect others at London Bridge”.
Mr Echeverria, a 39-year-old banker, was among eight people killed and nearly 50 injured as terrorists mowed people down with a car and went on a stabbing rampage before they were shot dead by police on 3rd June 2017.
He became known in the media as a ‘skateboard hero’ as he tried to fight off the attackers using his skateboard.
Joaquin Echeverria Alonso, who received the honour on behalf of his son, said the Queen asked him about his bravery on the night of the attack – particularly that he had tried to use his skateboard to fight off the terrorists.
Through a translator Mr Alonso, who had flown to London from Madrid, said the day was a “special moment but very emotional” for him and his wife Maria Miralles De Imperial Hornedo.
He said: “To recognise the courage of my son, he will be remembered. He was a generous man and he helped when it was necessary.”
Among the honours list were three police officers who say they acted “instinctively” during the London Bridge attack.
Following the attack, the Spanish government paid tribute to Mr Echeverria, a the nephew of a deceased bishop.
The Spanish government said at the time that Mr Echeverria’s relatives and friends “are not alone in their pain, and that, today, Spain is with them, sharing their feelings and desolation and joined with them in this terrible moment”.
“The exemplary attitude shown by Ignacio Echeverria during the attacks is a demonstration of solidarity for all to see,” said the statement on the government’s official website.
“His bravery in defending a helpless person serves as a reminder of the need to remain united before the scourge of terrorism, facing up to those whose only language is one of violence and terror,” it said.
“The government believes strongly that unity among democrats can overcome many challenges, including terrorist madness.”
Photo: Joaquin and Maria Echeverria after receiving the George Medal awarded to their late son Ignacio for his actions in the London Bridge attack following an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
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