Thursday, May 13News For London

London Bridge attack: Jack Merritt’s best friend pays tribute on Twitter

People leave messages near the place where attack happened
Author: Tereza Tomanova

Best friend of the London Bridge attack victim Jack Merritt paid tribute on Twitter. Hollie JS wrote a ‘goodbye’ letter, where she describes how devoted and wonderful person he had been.

In the heartbreaking letter, Hollie JS described how hard it is to cope with Merritt’s death. “It’s been 24 hours of pure haze. Nothing has made sense, and nothing has mattered. I never thought I would live in a world where seeing your beautiful face would give me such a dark pain, a pain I’ve never felt before. I am so sad Jack,” she wrote in her post.

Jack Merritt, 25, was the first victim of Friday’s London Bridge attack. Merrit, a course coordinator for Learning Together, a programme run by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology had been at Fishmonger’s Hall close to London Bridge celebrating the fifth anniversary of their prison programme when Usman Khan, 28, started the knife attack. He and 2018 graduate in Criminology Saskia Jones, 23, had been stabbed to death. Other three people were injured.

Usman Khan, a convicted terrorist, was shot dead by police minutes after. Jack Merritt’s dad David confirmed his son’s death on Saturday.

People leave messages and flowers near the place where attack happened Author: Tereza Tomanova

Hollie JS described her best friend as a person devoted to people, to his job: “You were such a completely brilliant boy, you could have done anything, literally anything, but you chose to help others, you championed the underdog, you did all you could to get voices heard. (…) You spoke up for people and now we must do the same for you.”

“We went to Punter last night and I kept expecting you to turn up, swanky coat, Dr Martens on, and that bloody vape in hand. I wanted to hear about your day, I wanted to hear about your conference, I wanted to hear you speak with passion, but you didn’t. You will always be here Jack. I will carry you everywhere I go, everything I do, you will be with me,” continued later in the letter.

Earlier today, vigils for all victims of the attack were held in London and Cambridge. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joined Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on vigil in capital. Khan said that to defeat the hatred of the attack, people must focus on the values of hope, unity and love.

The London service took place in Guildhall Yard, less than one kilometre from the location of attack. The ceremony also paid tribute to the emergency services and people who stepped in to fight the attacker.

“The best way to defeat this hatred is not by turning on one another, but it’s by focussing on the values that bind us. To take hope from the heroism of ordinary Londoners and our emergency services who ran towards danger, risking their lives to help people they didn’t even know,” said Khan.

The London service was held at Guildhall Yard.
Author: Tereza Tomanova

Words: Tereza Tomanova I Photos: Tereza Tomanova