THOUSANDS of people will stop what they are doing today and silently reflect on the horrific events of one week ago.
The airshow disaster that rocked Sussex will be marked by a minute’s silence at 1.20pm – the time the vintage Hawker Hunter jet crashed on to the busy A27 road, killing 11 people.
Shoreham residents, whose close proximity the crash site has left them particularly grief-stricken, will gather at the town’s tollbridge to pay their respects.
The wooden bridge has become a focal point for the community in the wake of the tragedy and hundreds of bouquets of flowers have been laid in memory of those who lost their lives.
The minute’s silence will also be observed in scores of other towns and villages as the Sussex community, including shops and businesses, tries to come to terms with its loss.
Many people across the country and around the world are also expected to take part.
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A Facebook page Shoreham Air Disaster: One Minute’s Silence is inviting people, no matter where they are, across Sussex, Britain and the world to pay their respects.
Worthing Borough councillor Edward Crouch, who set up the page, said: “We are asking people, wherever they are, to just stop and remember.
“What has happened has been devastating for Sussex and has really brought the community together.
“This is a way for everyone to pay their respects. The Facebook page has been shared a few thousand times and I have had messages from people in the US and the Philippines.
“People on the other side of the world will be taking part.”
Adur District Council leader Neil Parkin said: “These community events demonstrate the strength of the feelings shared by everyone who has been touched by this tragedy.
“The experience of sharing a minute of silence is so powerful and will be a fitting moment of reflection one week on.”
A candlelit vigil will be held at the Adur Ferry Bridge from 7.30pm today as part of Shoreham’s annual River Fest event this bank holiday weekend.
A minute’s silence will also be held during the Worthing Carnival at Beach House Grounds, in Brighton Road, at 1.30pm and during the Remembrance in the Park event in Lancing Manor.
Worthing Borough Council leader Daniel Humphreys said: “At times such as these, opportunities to come together are more important than ever.
“I know that across Worthing people will also be silent for a minute on Saturday to remember all of those affected, whether in Shoreham or elsewhere across the country.”
With the A27 still closed and diversions in place, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, John O’Brien, urged people to look at www.shorehamcondolence.org to find the event closest most local to them.
He said: “It is understandable, one week on from this terrible tragedy, that people may want to travel to Shoreham to pay their respects and show solidarity with a community still reeling from the shock of that terrible day.
“However I would urge people to observe a minute’s silence either at a local event or as they go about their normal day.
“No matter where we are on Saturday at 1.20pm we can all stop, pause and pay our respects to those who lost their lives.”
Derek Harber, director and Shoreham airshow organiser, said: "We are united with our local community in sorrow and grief for everyone affected.
"We are all still completely devastated and it will understandably take a long time for the enormity of last Saturday’s events to truly sink in.
"Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with everyone who is having to cope at this unimaginably difficult time.
“We are continuing to provide every assistance to the authorities as part of the on-going investigation.
“The whole team is immensely grateful for the messages of support we have received from the public and I would also like to directly thank the emergency services for their exceptional response in the aftermath of the crash.”