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The day following the incidents in Madrid, over 3,000 people gathered in the Plaza Espana in front of Aviles’ City Hall to remember the victims and stand united against the perpetrators of the attacks.
St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner proclaimed Thursday, March 18 a day of mourning to remember the people of Madrid, Spain, devastated by the by acts of terrorism one week before on March 11, 2004.
"There has been an understandable outpouring of grief in our community," Gardner said. "These wanton acts of terror are deplored by freedom-loving people everywhere, but it is especially painful in our community with its historic legacy and close ties to the people of Spain."
The proclamation asks that the entire community recognize the March 18 as a day of mourning and "To pause at noon on that day as a reminder of our steadfast support of the people of Spain, and the resolve of free people everywhere that we stand firm for the principles of freedom and against the tyranny of terror."
Gardner sent letters of condolence and a copy of the proclamation to the leaders of St. Augustine's sister cities in Spain: Santiago Rodriguez Vega, Mayor of Aviles, and Joana M. Barceló Martí, the President of the Island Council of Menorca. In addition, a copy of the proclamation was sent to Javier Vallaure, the Spanish Counsel in Miami with an extra copy and a request that it be forwarded to the mayor of Madrid.
The day following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Mayor Rodriguez send similar communications to then Mayor of St. Augustine, Mark Alexander.
In a real people-to-people act of sympathy, members of the Flagler Model Land Neighborhood Association signed a letter at their meeting on Sunday, March 14 addressed to the Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar.
The day following the incidents in Madrid, over 3,000 people gathered in the main plaza in front of Aviles’ City Hall to remember the victims and stand united against the perpetrators of the attacks. The complete story and photos may be seen at the City of Aviles Web site.
Following is the complete text of Mayor Gardner’s proclamation.
Issued by the Mayor of St. Augustine on the occasion of the
terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spain on March 11, 2004.
WHEREAS, the great City of Madrid, and Nation of Spain, were devastated Thursday, March 11, 2004, by wanton acts of terrorism, and
WHEREAS, the City of St. Augustine, shares longstanding historical and cultural ties with Spain, and continuing close relationships with its Spanish Sister Cities of Aviles and Menorca, and
WHEREAS, those close ties have caused the people of St. Augustine to share in the great grief and horror caused by these terrorist attacks in Madrid; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting, as an expression of love and support for the City of Madrid and our City’s friends throughout Spain at this grievous time, to pause and remember those innocent victims of terrorism;
NOW THEREFORE, I, George Gardner, Mayor of St. Augustine, on behalf of the City Commission and all Citizens of the City of St. Augustine, proclaim Thursday, March 18, 2004, a day of mourning and remembrance and call upon all members of this community to pause at noon on that day as a reminder of our steadfast support of the people of Spain, and the resolve of free people everywhere, that we stand firm for the principles of freedom and against the tyranny of terror.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of St. Augustine, Florida, to be affixed on this 15th day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and four, in the four hundred and thirty-eighth year of the founding of St. Augustine, the Nation’s Oldest City.
George Gardner, Mayor