THE haunting voice of Jessica Murray, the great granddaughter of Wesley and Bertha Armstrong who died in the Enniskillen bombing 30 years ago, performing ‘Nearer My God To Thee’ reverberated across Belmore Street on Wednesday as the town remembered that dark day.
It was a sombre moment as families and relatives of those killed and injured in the IRA attack gathered at the very spot, at the very moment, where their lives changed forever all those years ago.
Sitting near the war memorial watching her 14 year old granddaughter through tears but with pride was Stella Robinson (nee Armstrong) who lost her parents in the bombing. 
“Jessica was amazing,” she told The Impartial Reporter afterwards. “It was as if she was singing to my mother and father. My father loved singing, he would have been moved by it all. It really means something to our family and has given us a lovely memory,” said Mrs. Robinson.
The memories for so many of the families, including the Armstrongs, are as difficult now as they were three decades ago and Wednesday was a significant milestone in their long, arduous journey.
“We come to cast our minds back to the terrible and tragic events that took place at this very hour at and this very spot thirty years ago today,” said Rev David Cupples who in 1987 had to bury six members of his congregation at Enniskillen Presbyterian Church who died in the blast. 
He said the bomb had brought to an untimely end “the lives of 12 innocent people, slain by the hands of wicked men.”
“12 people who were beloved family members, dear friends, kind neighbours and respected and good citizens and all believers in Jesus Christ Our Lord. 
“In the morning they were serving God by faith and by the evening they stood in his presence and saw him face to face,” he said.
Rev. Cupples said that day “changed the lives of us all” which he said had “ushered” many people “into a life of pain, physical pain, pain of grief and loss, the pain of shattered hopes and dreams, the pain of the search and justice and truth, the pain of deep questions that haunt the soul, the pain of the struggle to carry on day by day.”
The service included the unveiling and dedication of a special memorial, commissioned by the Ely Centre, which details the names of those killed. 
The memorial, which does not yet have a permanent location, was unveiled by The Queen’s Lord Lieutenant for County of Fermanagh Viscount Brookeborough.
He relayed a personal message from The Queen who said the unveiling of the memorial was “a poignant reminder of the terrible event on Remembrance Sunday 30 years ago here in Enniskillen.”
“I am aware of the irreplaceable loss and profound sadness shared by so many families who lost their loved ones, and all of those who were injured.”
In her message, The Queen said she renewed her sympathy with the grieving families.
“Whilst this memorial will serve your community as a permanent reminder of that tragic day, it is my hope that by it the families who have suffered will be strengthened in the knowledge that those who lost their lives and the injured are never forgotten,” she said.
In a prayer from the platform, Rev Sam McGuffin, Enniskillen Methodist Church, said the occasion provided an opportunity to “reach out to one another as our sense of grief and justice wells up again.”
“We’ve gathered together today to reflect in the solitude of our own hearts and as a community on the way that awful experience shaped and continues to shape our lives,” he said.
Joining the families at the service were many politicians, including Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire, Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster, Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann, Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry, Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister and Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland George Hamilton.
Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton, former MP Tom Elliott, Vice Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Alex Baird, Chief Executive Brendan Hegarty and councillors, including Keith Elliott (DUP), Diana Armstrong (UUP), Patricia Rogers (SDLP) also attended the service.
Sharon Harrington Gault, wife of Stephen who lost his father Samuel Gault in the bomb recited a moving poem written by Anna Dixon, whose husband Jim was seriously injured. 
In it, she had referred to the “crushed and broken” body of her husband taken from the rubble and and said: “Thank you God for not letting him die.”
“What does this mean, all this loss and great sin? 
“Man to man is so violent, and why?
“We just remembered the dead with our poppies so red as in reference we stood beneath the sky.”
And there they stood once more as a bugler from the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR) played The Last Post and they observed two minutes of silence, before the names of the 12 who were killed were read out by the Reverend Chancellor John Stewart, Derryvullen South and Garvary Church, followed by the tolling of 12 bells.
A piper from the RIR’s second battalion played the lament ‘Flowers of the Forest’ while family members took it in turns, one by one, to lay wreaths at the new memorial as the rain started to fall.
The service concluded with the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of ‘Abide With Me’ led throughout the service by George Edgar and accompanied by Ballyreagh Silver Band. 
After the service, Stephen Ross who suffered serious facial injuries in the bomb, spoke of how the day though it was etched in sadness “gives you encouragement that good things will come out of this.”
“It’s also, to me, a time to remember not just Enniskillen but everybody who suffered in the Troubles on both sides of the community and people who have been bereaved as a result of sectarian violence from both sides,” he said.