Tributes have been paid to murdered soldier Lee Rigby a year since his brutal death at the hands of two fanatics.
The 25-year-old was killed near Woolwich barracks in south east London on May 22 last year after his killers decided to pick a soldier off the street.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “We shall never forget the appalling crime which was committed so publicly in Woolwich a year ago and our thoughts must go to Lee Rigby’s loved ones on this very difficult day.
“The entire country united to condemn his death and the murderous ideology his killers espoused. They were swiftly brought to justice and we are committed to doing everything we can to challenge those whose beliefs and behaviour threaten our way of life.”
Temporary Commander Duncan Ball, from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit, praised witnesses to the chilling crime and the wider community for their courage.
He said: “A year has passed since the tragic death of Fusilier Lee Rigby and our thoughts very much remain with Lee’s loved ones who live with the reality of his death every day.
“Since the day Lee was murdered, Metropolitan Police detectives have worked tirelessly to ensure that the two men responsible have been brought to justice for their horrific crime. The local community have shown great strength by coming together to condemn this dreadful act of violence, many of whom witnessed this in broad daylight on the streets of London.
“The threat from terrorism remains real and serious and our overriding priority is to keep the public safe by working together with all our communities.
“Today is a day to remember and celebrate Lee’s life.”
He urged any member of the public who sees something terrorism-related to contact police.
Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz praised the father-of-one’s family for the way they have coped in the past year, being thrust into the public eye and enduring the Old Bailey trial of terrorist murderers Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajo, who have shown no remorse.
Mr Vaz said: “I pay tribute to the Rigby family, who have at all times conducted themselves with the utmost dignity and humility during an incomprehensibly difficult year.”