News / Europe

Thousands Line London Streets for Thatcher Funeral

Crowds Bid Farewell to Former PM Thatcheri
X
April 17, 2013 7:38 PM
Many came to pay their respects -- and as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, some traveled long distances to say their goodbyes.

Many came to pay their respects, some traveling long distances to say their goodbyes.

Henry Ridgwell
On a gray London morning, thousands lined the route of the funeral cortege for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a great majority of whom came to pay respects — and many of whom had travelled long distances to say their farewells.
 
“We’ve come here to say goodbye to a great lady and a great leader,” said Joseph Bates, whose family stood among the throngs jostling on sidewalks.
 
“I had the privilege to meet her in ’83, and I was a huge supporter of hers," said Michael Varney, a British national who lives abroad and flew in from Austria to be in attendance. "She did immense and wonderful things for this country and I felt as though I had to be here.”
 
In the days since Thatcher’s death, however, debate has raged over her legacy for Britain and for the world. While Wednesday's London crowds were mostly respectful — and fears of disruptive protests did not materialize — not all voices in the crowd were admiring.
 
“I’m 60 years old and I lived through the Thatcher period," said Alan Sutton. "I think she was a racist and a bigot and she divided the country and threw hundreds of thousands of people out of work and created a situation of more and more conflict.”
 
Sutton's criticism, overheard by others in the crowd, prompted passionate retorts.
 
“I think they should stay quiet the whole time," said Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt, who was standing nearby. "I don’t think they should have anything to say. She did a great deal for the country and even if you think she didn’t, she sweated blood for this country.”
 
As the coffin passed by, some took photos and videos to remember the event. Others looked on or bowed their heads.
 
Robin, an American citizen who lives in London, says Thatcher’s legacy will last.
 
“I think there’s no question she’s left an impression on history, but obviously people have very strong views on both sides of the political spectrum with respect to her legacy. But I still felt it was important to be here historically.”
 
As the coffin passed from view towards St. Paul’s Cathedral, a ripple of applause spread through the crowd, among those who had come to say goodbye to Britain’s first and only female prime minister and recall the impact she had on their lives and on the world.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid