VLADIKAVKAZ, September 1 (Itar-Tass) —The three-day Memory Watch began in Beslan on Thursday on the seventh anniversary to honour the memory of the children and adults who died in the act of terror at School No One. Flowers are laid at the site of the destroyed school where terrorists held more than 1,200 hostages in 2004.
Many people have come for the ceremony, which began at 09:15 Moscow time, the moment when seven years ago the school bell ringing was stopped by the terrorists’ first submachine gun fire burst.
North Ossetian leader Taimuraz Mamsurov, whose son and daughter were held as hostages there, and Transport Minister Igor Levitin have already attended the ceremony. Many people from the republic's parliament, ministries, public and youth organisations and educational institutions have arrived there. Residents of North Ossetia, South Ossetia and other Russian cities have come to pay tribute to the memory of the hostages who died at the school.
A religious service for the dead was held in the school yard on Thursday morning. The services will be held in all the churches of the republic for all the three days.
Traditionally, it is quiet at the school ruins, the memorial cemetery and all over Beslan -- there are no events, people only lay flowers and light candles. It is a wish of Beslan Mothers. They said about it on the first anniversary. Since then, the commemorative ceremony has not been changed.
In 2004, terrorists attacked Beslan's School No One and held 1,200 people as hostages there. Three hundred and thirty four people, including 186 children, died at the site or died of wounds later. One hundred and twenty six hostages, including 70 children, became disabled, and many of them still need rehabilitating.
Candles will burn on the school ruins for 51 hours and 50 minutes -- from 09:15, September 1, till 13:05, September 3 – as long as the seized hostages were held by the terrorists in the school gymnasium.