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US city’s citizens honor victims at their own London Bridge

In this Monday, June 5, 2017 photo provided by RiverScene Magazine, people wave American flags on the Lake Havasu London Bridge to show support for the victims of the deadly van and knife attacks in London, England, in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. The city of London sold the outmoded, 19th-century bridge to the Arizona city in the late 1960s. A candlelight vigil at the bridge planned for Friday evening will allow more people to come show support for the victims, resident Rick Powell said. (RiverScene Magazine via AP)

PHOENIX (AP) — While Londoners paused besides a flower memorial on London Bridge for a moment of silence to honor the seven people killed in the weekend terror attack, others are mourning about 5,000 miles away next to a bridge of the same name.

Arizona residents have come together at the local historic London Bridge on Lake Havasu to pay respects to the victims in the deadly van and knife attacks.

Lorinda Moore said friends and strangers gathered Monday and tossed flowers off the city’s own London Bridge to honor the victims.

“We have the London Bridge in our community, and love can build a bridge_and it’s from our London Bridge to theirs,” Moore said. “And hopefully they will see something and feel our love and compassion for them. Just know that we are standing in solidarity with them, and they are in our thoughts and prayers.”

A memorial of teddy bears, flowers and British and American flags sprung up on the bridge in Lake Havasu City in Mohave County.

Moore said she quickly organized Monday’s event with another resident over the weekend, though many people in the community couldn’t come because of the short notice.

Rick Powell said who those came brought carnations to throw into the water below. “My girlfriend’s grandkids showed up and brought teddy bears from their beds to leave on the bridge,” Powell said.

Lake Havasu City has had the world-famous original London Bridge ever since the city’s founder, Robert P. McCulloch, placed a winning bid for it in 1968. The City of London wanted to replace the bridge because it was unfit to withstand automotive traffic and was beginning to sink into the River Thames. The original structure was dismantled and transported to the U.S. where it was sent to Arizona to become reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.

“Britain is our friend. London is our friend,” Powell said. “That happened on the London Bridge, and we have actual London Bridge here so it was important for us to show our support for them.”

A candlelight vigil at the bridge planned for Friday evening will allow more people to come show support for the victims, Powell said.

“We’re trying to keep the politics and the religion out of it and just make it about human beings, about people,” Moore said.

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