A trio of kind-hearted Larne men have paid tribute to murdered soldier Lee Rigby by laying a wreath in his memory.
Drummer Rigby, of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was knifed to death in the street outside an Army barracks in Woolwich, south-east London on May 22.
The shocking scenes sparked outrage across the UK, leading millions of people to pay respects in their own way to the tragic soldier and express solidarity with his family.
Larne man Peter Wilson was one of those people who was deeply moved by the Drummer Rigby’s death and felt he had to do something to honour the man’s memory.
The Station Road man, who has friends currently serving with the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, told the Times: “It was truly awful what happened to this young man; he had served his country and survived the horrors of war, and thought he was safe back home in England, only to be brutally killed in the street in broad daylight,” said the 44-year-old.
“It is hard to imagine what that man’s family must be going through, and I felt it was important to show that the people of Larne are thinking about them.”
Peter, along with his friends Daniel and Joe Crawford, took it upon themselves to lay a wreath at Larne War Memorial, along with a note stating “From Larne, in memory of Lee Rigby”.
He added: “Joe took a picture of me and Daniel laying the wreath, and I then uploaded it onto a facebook page that had been set up in memory of Drummer Rigby.”
The site, called RIP Lee Rigby, has received over half a million likes since it was established the day after the soldier’s death. Thousands of people used the social networking site to pay their respects to Drummer Rigby and offer condolences to his family, as well as uploading thousands of pictures of wreaths being placed at war memorials across the UK.
Peter added: “Just a few hours after I put the picture of facebook, it had over a thousand likes and loads of comments. This site and others like it show the strength of feeling there is across the country on this issue.”
In the wake of Peter’s simple act of commemoration, other people from the town have been inspired to place their own tributes at Larne War Memorial to Drummer Rigby.