La Rambla shopkeepers join remembrance with balloons
Traders recall the horror of a van running over dozens of people on Barcelona’s famous boulevard one year ago
Several balloons were floated over La Rambla, Barcelona's iconic boulevard, on Friday at 5pm, in the same spot where exactly one year ago a van ran over dozens of people, killing 14 of them.
The balloons featured messages of love and were floated above some of the stalls on the boulevard and in the Boqueria market.
One of La Rambla's most unique elements over the years have been the stalls selling flowers and birds (although no longer animals).
The shopkeepers were confronted with terror on a sunny afternoon exactly one year ago, and 365 days on, the organization representing them, the Boqueria market traders' association, decided to pay their respects to the victims.
The association said that the balloon initiative has "a commemorative intention and is not linked to political ideologies."
"One year ago an unknown person left some post-it notes and pens [on a stall front on La Rambla] with the note: 'Leave your message of love here"
Monica Trias · Bird seller
"One year ago an unknown person left some post-it notes and pens [on a stall front on La Rambla] with the note: 'Leave your message of love here," explains a bird seller. As they were so grateful for all the messages they got, the shopkeepers decided to use the idea again a year later, but this time inside balloons.
This is only one of the events to remember the incidents, with the main ones being the floral tribute on La Rambla this morning, another with music and a poem in Catalunya square, and several activities in the towns of Ripoll, Alcanar and Cambrils.
Outside Lledoners prison, where seven political leaders are jailed, including the former home affairs minister Joaquim Forn, an event hosted by the main pro-independence civic associations was held on Friday evening. The Catalan president Quim Torra was set to take part after visiting Forn.
Meanwhile, Barcelona’s taxi drivers postponed their 'slow march' to honor the victims until Saturday due to severe weather in the Catalan capital.