London — A ceremony to remember the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics was held in London near the Olympic village.
London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled a memorial plaque to the victims at the ceremony in Hackney.
“It is entirely right this morning that we should remember those events,” Johnson said. “And today let us hope that these Olympic Games that we are holding in London this week, 40 years later, are not only happy and peaceful, and also that they will be remembered in years to come.”
The ceremony was organized by Hackney Borough Councilman Linda Kelly and Martin Sugarman, chairman of the Hackney Anglo-Israel Friendship Association, according to the London Jewish Chronicle.
Efraim Zinger, the head of Israel’s delegation to the Games, also attended the ceremony.
“I hope we will be able to concentrate on the success of Israel’s athletes and not of stories like this,” Zinger said, according to the Chronicle.
The International Olympic Committee on Sunday reiterated that there would be no moment of silence to mark the 40th anniversary of the massacre during the opening ceremony on Friday, saying it is not the appropriate venue, and that a ceremony will be held in a Munich airport in September, where most of the delegation was slain.
President Obama last week said he supported a moment of silence at the Games, and NBC’s Bob Costas said he will discuss the anniversary when the Israeli delegation enters the stadium during the opening ceremony.
In addition, the U.S. Senate, the German Bundestag, the Canadian and Australian parliaments, about 50 members of the British Parliament, the Israeli government, Jewish organizations worldwide and about 100 members of Australia’s Parliament have urged the IOC to hold a moment of silence.