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Murdered hostage given freedom of city honour

2023-06-05 21:43:00 [Press center5] source:The New York Times

An aid worker who was killed by militants after travelling to Syria in 2014 has been honoured in his home city.

Father-of-two Alan Henning was posthumously granted the Freedom of Salford by councillors earlier.

Mayor Ann-Marie Humphreys said: "We all should be grateful for people like Alan who put others before themselves."

A memorial garden was made in memory of the 47-year-old Eccles-born taxi driver in 2016.

Ms Humphreys said: "It is right that the city provides its highest of honours to Alan Henning, who reached out to help people in need from all backgrounds.

"It is also fitting that we constantly remember Alan's kindness and his humanity and what his life meant.

"The Freedom of the City is highest honour the city council can give to an individual and Alan certainly fits that category.

"The Henning family accepted, and we will make sure that he is never forgotten. Thank you for all you did Alan."

Mr Henning was captured on his fourth aid mission to the country within minutes of arrival in December 2013 and was murdered in October 2014.

He was a much-loved and respected taxi driver, known as Gadget or Gadge by his friends as he was "brilliant at fixing things."

Deeply moved by the plight of innocent people in Syria during the conflict at the time, he began to raise funds to help alleviate their suffering with aid.

The council citation said: "He took the incredibly brave decision to travel to Syria with an overwhelming urge to help the people of Syria, putting aside his own fears to provide not only humanitarian aid but comfort and support for the children of Syria."

His memorial garden in Eccles and features a circular flower bed, planted with yellow flowers and plants, wooden sleepers painted yellow and two granite boulders bearing memorial plaques.

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(editor-in-charge:Press center6)

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