THE sombre commemorations of the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire today will be the most poignant of reminders that such a tragedy must never be allowed to happen again.
The 12 months that have passed have done nothing to diminish the horror of what unfolded at the London tower block where 72 people who had every right to expect that their homes were safe and secure died, unable to escape the inferno that engulfed their flats.
Indeed, the details that have emerged over the past year have only served to reinforce the fact that this was an entirely avoidable disaster, and that makes the death toll all the harder to bear, especially for the victims’ families.
There can be no doubt that the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, under the chairmanship of Sir Martin Moore-Bick, will establish exactly what took place and why.
It may well be that once the inquiry is completed, prosecutions will follow.
But even as its investigations continue, there are lessons that can, and must, be learned.
Principal among them is that fire safety in tower blocks, and whether renovation work is fit for purpose, should be much more rigorously scrutinised and given absolute priority.
Effective and safe management of the blocks must also be enforced, and residents’ concerns heeded and acted upon.
It is one of the most distressing and shameful aspects of the Grenfell tragedy that warnings from the people who lived there that the block was a fire risk were disregarded.
It is much to be hoped that the people who lost loved ones at Grenfell Tower can draw some comfort from knowing that the thoughts of the whole country are with them today.
But the best tribute to them would be ensuring that no other families ever have to endure their suffering.