The king told over 400 mourners on Thursday that Spain has been given “a lesson of immense value” and a spirit of self-improvement during the pandemic and has asked that people now start working together, with “respect and understanding”, so that we can all look to the future with “confidence and hope”
Felipe VI made this appeal in the civil tribute to honour the victims of Covid-19 in the Courtyard of the Royal Palace, where he told relatives of the more than 28,000 deceased that “they are not alone in their pain.”
“It is a pain we all share. Your grief is ours, It is here before all Spaniards. Pain and grief in which we also all feel ourselves,” added the king.
Don Felipe admitted that the commemoration cannot mend the sadness of those who have lost a loved one, but it will ensure that “they will remain in our memories” and that we “will not forget them.”
The king went on to say, “The moral debt and a civic duty bind us all. Let us work together, using all our will, our capacity, our knowledge, all our effort and the strength to be able to look to the future with confidence and hope. And let’s do it with respect and the understanding”.
The event was attended by members of the Government and state powers, all the regional presidents, party representatives, except Vox, and the heads of EU institutions, as well as Queen Letizia, Princess Leonor and the Infanta Sofia.
It was a service that has reflected “the respect and the highest solemnity of the State” in its tribute to the victims, according to Don Felipe.
He said that the majority of deaths have been of older people who were part of a “commendable” generation that contributed to “building our democratic coexistence day by day.”
In his speech, he expressed his “immense gratitude” to the thousands of people and groups that have worked on the front line during the pandemic in favour of others, to whom society “owes much more than they can imagine” for having sustained the pulse of the country.
“Their actions have shown the best example of the civic and moral values of our society and the best reason for our collective hope,” he stressed.
The tribute ended with the reading of the poem “Silencio”, by Octavio Paz, followed by a minute of silence.