Former bishop of Derry Edward Daly today joined more than 1,000 of the city's people in remembering Bloody Sunday 30 years on, wearing the same clerical stole he wore that day.
Dr Daly, famously filmed waving a blood-stained handkerchief in an attempt to bring one of the dead to safety, stood in the heart of Derry's Bogside district once more, observing a minute's silence as a bell tolled slowly, marking the moment on January 30 1972 when the shooting started.
Thirteen Catholic men and youths were shot dead in a civil rights demonstration that day - events which have recently been reconstructed in two TV docudramas.
With the purple stole draped over his shoulders, Dr Daly recalled with the crowd the horrifying events after he unveiled a new plaque beside the Bloody Sunday memorial on Rossville Street.
He said: "It is hard to believe that 30 years have passed - 30 long, hard years.
"Rossville Street brings back many memories for me, many happy days before January 30, 1972.
"That day changed everything. Rossville Street has never been the same. Derry has never been the same and the lives of many families and many individuals here were changed on that day and changed utterly."
Earlier the Northern Ireland secretary, John Reid, said the province must not be shackled by its past.
He said that at some time people had to draw a line on the past, not by forgetting, but by using memories as a dynamo for a resolution that such events would never happen again.
Mr Reid, speaking in Belfast, said his thoughts were today with the families of those who died on Bloody Sunday. "It is an anniversary today which will evoke very painful memories and unfortunately the past 30 years in Northern Ireland have created too many such anniversaries and too much pain."
The Saville inquiry had been established to discover the truth of what happened on that fateful day, he said. But it was also important that the natural concern with the past did not stop people moving forward.
The events of Bloody Sunday and others such as the Enniskillen bombing were, by any standards a tragedy, he said and the truth must be uncovered.
But he said: "We should use the truth , we should use what reconciliation we have from gaining the truth, to build a platform for the future."
He added: "On a day like today , which is one of the many tragic anniversaries, it is natural that people will remember the past and I think that there would be very few who would be surprised by that, that is a very natural thing.
"But I also think that it should not shackle us to the past and at some stage we have to draw a line, not in forgetting everything from the past but in using those memories as a dynamo for our resolution that these events will never occur again."
Pain was indivisible and truth was indivisible, he said, and it was very difficult for everyone in Northern Ireland to come to terms with the past.
"But it is perhaps a necessary part of a process of acknowledgement of pain and the healing of pain and gradual stepping out of that pain to make sure that future generations don't have that pain.
"No one has yet devised a way in which all of us can share the truth because if pain is indivisible then truth is indivisible as well.
"But I think there is an increasing recognition that we have to try and find some way of stepping out of the past - not in any way diminishing terrible tragedy - in order to move forward so that the next generation does not have the same memories."