Mum Lyn Rigby has spoken of her “decade of heartbreak” as she faces the tenth anniversary of her son Lee’s murder.
Lee, a machine gunner and drummer from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was murdered in a terrorist attack on May 22, 2013.
The horrifc killing was carried out by two Islamist extremists as he walked in civilian clothes home to his army barracks in Woolwich, South East London.
British-born Muslim converts Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale picked Lee out at random and attacked him, mowing him down from behind in a speeding car before hacking him to death in the street.
Now Lyn has confided how she only survived the devastation of the murder because of the love of her husband and four daughters.
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On the landmark anniversary, she told the Mirror: “The pain is there every day, so much so that it becomes a part of you.
“But what tears me apart is to think that people have forgotten him 10 years on. It’s my job to make sure people remember him – not just as the murdered soldier from the TV but as a loving son, dad and brother.”
The murderers tried to justify their actions as revenge for the deaths of fellow Muslims in wars such as Afghanistan.
Lyn said: “This was one of the greatest ironies of all – the fact that Lee had survived brutal frontline fighting against the Taliban during a tour of Afghanistan several years before.
“That was a horrendous time. Every day I lived in fear of him being killed in battle and when he returned home, it was a huge relief.
“Yet here he was in London, supposedly safe, and this is where it turns out he was at most danger.
“The fact the killers asked people to film them next to my son’s dead body means that it is forever out there on the internet and we, as a family, have to live with that.”
Both killers were given life sentences, with ringleader Adebolajo facing a whole-life tariff.
Lyn said: “I’ll never forget the darkest of days when he first died. I remember just wanting to die too so I could be with Lee.
“It was only being a mum to four other children that stopped me taking my own life.
“My husband Ian and my four girls saved me from myself. All of them were hurting so badly, including Ian, who loved Lee as his own despite being his stepdad.
“Together they all threw a ring of protection around me. As a family we pulled through together and to this day I have no idea how I am still standing.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that the human heart can survive such sadness.”