Terrorism

Spain’s skateboard hero to be honored in new memorial center

Ignacio Echeverría died after using his skateboard to protect a woman during London terror attack

Ignacio Echeverría, the skateboard hero of the Borough Market terrorist attack in London, in a video screeshot.
Ignacio Echeverría, the skateboard hero of the Borough Market terrorist attack in London, in a video screeshot.atlas

Ignacio Echeverría, the Spanish hero who fended off terrorists with his skateboard at the Borough Market attack in London in June, will be remembered with an exhibit at the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism, set to open in Spain’s Basque Country next year.

Echeverría, 39, died after trying to defend a woman who was being stabbed by one of the three terrorists who drove a vehicle into pedestrians, then attacked passersby with knives on the night of June 3. Echeverría, took on a terrorist with his skateboard and was stabbed to death.

It is worth being good even if you die because of it

Echeverria’s parents

As a tribute to his valiant efforts, the Memorial Center will put the famous skateboard on permanent display. The Memorial Center is currently under construction in the old headquarters of Bank of Spain in Vitoria-Gasteiz, with another site planned for Madrid.

Once finished, the mammoth exhibition space will be divided into four sections. One will focus on the history of terrorism in Spain and the world, another on different terrorist organizations and how they target and stigmatize their victims, and a third on the political, legal and citizen response to terrorism and the last will display testimonies from the victims. The museum will also have an archive, library and a research room.

In an interview with the magazine of the Foundation of Victims of Terror, Echeverria’s parents, Joaquín Echeverría and Ana Miralles de Imperial said they had decided to donate the skateboard because “it is a positive thing to spread this example to children and young people, explaining that it is worth being good even if you die because of it.”

In the interview, Echeverría’s sad but proud parents recount how he and two of his friends intervened to try to save a woman’s life. “A few meters away they saw a kind of brawl and a police officer who had fallen to the floor. Ignacio ran forward and began hitting the terrorists with his skateboard but they surrounded him and stabbed him in the back. He was stabbed twice, one [wound] was superficial but the other fatal.” Echeverrìa was one of eight people to be killed in the terrorist attack. The policeman survived but the woman who he tried to protect died.

Despite the tragic event, his parents insist that “we cannot let ourselves be scared. We have to continue living a normal life, there is nothing to fear. This was the spirit of Ignacio. We can’t let them defeat us, we have to go on.”

Echeverria’s efforts have also been honored by the British Prime Minister Theresa May and in a series of commemorative cartoons.

“Not all heroes wear a cape, some travel by skateboard.” “RIP Ignacio Echeverría, my humble tribute.”

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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