(22 Jul 2012) The 40th anniversary of the attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics which left 11 Israeli athletes and officials dead was commemorated on Sunday in a ceremony in London.
The ceremony took place a day after the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Jacques Rogge reconfirmed that there would be no official memorial event at the opening of the forthcoming Olympic Games.
Israeli Olympic Committee officials and Jewish war veterans, as well as relatives of victims of the attack and the local Jewish community attended Sunday’s ceremony at a community centre in the Borough of Hackney, close to the Olympic Park in east London.
London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled a ceremonial plaque and told the gathering it was “entirely right” to mark the events of 1972.
He expressed the hope that the forthcoming London Games would be “happy and peaceful” and “remembered in years to come”.
There still remains some dissatisfaction on the part of various groups that there is to be no minute of silence at next Friday’s opening ceremony of the London Games to commemorate the victims of the 1972 attack.
The IOC had come under pressure from politicians in the United States, Israel and Germany to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre at the ceremony, but the organisation maintains that the atmosphere of the opening ceremony would be an inappropriate time to remember such a tragic incident.
That position was reiterated on Saturday by IOC President Jacques Rogge who said the IOC will pay homage to the slain Israeli athletes and coaches at a reception in London during the Games and will attend a ceremony in Germany on the anniversary of the killings on September 5th.
The Chair of the Israeli Olympic Committee Efraim Zinger, present at Sunday’s ceremony, said that he had expected a greater commitment from the IOC to mark the anniversary.
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