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Britain Plans a Memorial for Grenfell, a Tragedy That's Far From Over

Survivors will get a final say over the site’s future. Meanwhile, little has been done to prevent the same thing from happening again.
The remains of Grenfell Tower, shortly after the fire.
The remains of Grenfell Tower, shortly after the fire.Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Eight months later, it still feels brutally early to be discussing a memorial at London’s Grenfell Tower. Destroyed on June 14 after flammable cladding turned a domestic fire into a lethal blaze, the still-gutted, uninhabitable public housing tower remains a grim reminder of last summer’s tragedy, where 71 people died and many more were injured or made homeless. Ultimately though, according to a U.K. government press release published Thursday, the site will become a formal memorial to the fire’s victims.

The announcement of the plan—which could also see the nearby Latimer Road Tube station renamed to Grenfell—strikes the right note so far, making it clear that residents of the West London housing project will get the deciding say on any kind of memorial that happens on the tower’s site.