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Family of Spanish skateboard hero collect bravery award from Queen

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Family of Spanish skateboard hero collect bravery award from Queen
Photo: Issued by family of Ignacio Echeverría.
16:08 CEST+02:00
The family of Ignacio Echeverría, who lost his life when he bravely defended a woman against terrorists during the London Bridge attack, accepted the posthumously awarded medal from Queen Elizabeth II.

The 39-year-old Spaniard, from Las Rozas outside Madrid, is one of eight heroes of the June 2017 attack to be honoured by the Queen for their courage, two of them posthumously.

The George Medal is awarded in recognition of "acts of great bravery" and has been awarded posthumously to Echevarria, who used his skateboard to fend off a knife-wielding terrorists.

His parents were presented with the George Medal during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.


Photo: British Ceremonial Arts

Two police officers also received the same award for their actions.

At the ceremony his father Joaquín Echeverría Alonso said it was a "special moment but very emotional" for him and his wife Miralles De Imperial Hornedo.

He said the award helped "recognise the courage of my son".

"Since Ignacio's death we have lived a year of intense emotions," he said.

"There has been pain and love and I have reflected on the meaning of duty and commitment.

"I have been compelled to think about what really matters and what is worth taking risks and fighting for; life, freedom, dignity, for oneself and for others."

 

READ MORE: Emotional tributes paid to Spanish skateboard hero a year after London Bridge attack

Announcing the medal earlier this year, the awarding committee said: 'Using his skateboard as a weapon, he was well aware that it was no match for the weapons that were being used by the assailants.

'Regardless, he ran towards them with the intention of stopping them from carrying out further attacks on innocent people who were in the vicinity."


Photo: Gov.uk

'It is beyond doubt that he displayed great courage in choosing to try to tackle the attackers.'Echeverría was also posthumously awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by the Spanish government which recognises "extraordinary services" by Spanish and foreign citizens.

King Felipe VI of Spain also paid tribute to him on a state visit to London last year, mentioning his bravery in a speech to the UK parliament.

Across Spain, skate parks have been named after Ignacio Echeverría to honour his inspiring actions.

READ MORE: Skateboard parks in Spain to be named in honour of London attack hero

 
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