Ignacio Echeverría, the Spaniard who was killed in the London bombings last June, has been posthumously awarded the George Medal, a decoration awarded by Queen Elizabeth II for acts of “great courage”.
A list of 20 such civilian gallantry awards was published by the British Government last Thursday. The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, said on Twitter how appreciative he was of the posthumous decoration to the Spanish citizen.
Echeverría was decorated along with the Australian Kirsty Boden, who died trying to help the victims who were injured on the London bridge where the tragedy occurred.
Echeverría, 39, “undoubtedly helped to avoid further losses by running towards terrorists, thereby allowing others to escape,” the George Cross Committee noted in a note.
The citation reads, “Ignacio Echeverría showed great courage when he challenged several armed terrorists, using his skateboard as a weapon, he was aware that he was no match for the attackers, but he ran towards them with the intention of preventing their continued armed attacks on innocent people … He showed great courage, he could have taken cover, but he did not, he was unarmed and he had no training, the danger was obvious, but he made a choice to try to help those being attacked, exposing himself to danger”.
The Spaniard, who worked as an analyst at the HSBC bank, was described by international media as the “skateboard hero” for attacking a terrorist who tried to stab a woman. Unfortunately it cost him his life.
The parents of Ignacio attended Buckingham Palace last week where they received the George Medal from Queen Elizabeth II on their son’s behalf. 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”.