by Chisanga Malata
Prime Minister Gordon brown yesterday joined families of teens killed in violent acts at a service to mark the eighth anniversary of the death of Damilola Taylor.
Damilola, 10 was stabbed in the leg and bled to death when walking home from school in Peckham, south London in November 2000.
Richard Taylor Damilola’s father dedicated the day to “all the children who have been taken away” since his son’s death.
Twenty- eight teenagers have been killed in violent attacks in the capital since the beginning of this year.
Other guests at the memorial at the Southwark Cathedral included Tory leader David Cameron, mayor of London Boris Johnson, Olympic gold medallist dame Kelly Holmes, footballer Rio Ferdinand, and newscaster sir Trevor McDonald. They joined some 30 families who have lost their teenage sons and daughters to knife and gun crime at the service.
Sir Trevor told the congregation “enough is enough”.
“We can, we must and we will prevail over the evils in our society. It is the legacy we have been left by those we have lost,” he added.
Remembering the youngsters killed since Damilola, Dame Kelly said: “How many other aspiring doctors, footballers, pop stars or Olympic athletes have we lost?”
As well as these well known names turning up at the memorial a choir from Damilola’s school, Oliver Goldsmith sang at the service.
Damilola’s father said the day “was very significant”.
Mr Taylor added “Today my son Damilola should have been looking forward to his 19th birthday in a few weeks time.
“Today we are joined together instead to remember him on the eighth anniversary of his being taken so cruelly from the bosom of his family.
“I would like to dedicate this day of days to all the children who have been taken from their families in the eight years that have followed.
“I know you feel the pain that I feel and I know that like me you will feel it forever,” he added.