They showed courage, stoicism and a deep-rooted respect for a shared anguish.
For those who lost loved ones on July 7, 2005, this was the moment many had been waiting for.
In a packed courtroom, nearly six years after the atrocity, loved ones of the victims were together for what may be the last time.
But a sense of solidarity could not allay the horror or sadness.
Coroner Lady Justice Hallett placed them, once again, at the heart of her address and began by commending their “understanding”, “support” and “quiet dignity”.
“They want to find out what happened and whether the 52 deaths could have been prevented, but they do not necessarily seek to cast blame,” she said.
The poignancy of her words couldn’t have been lost on anyone.
She spoke movingly of the events of July 7 — typically avoiding any of the convoluted terminology or jargon which had littered so much of the evidence.
Many wept quietly as Hugo Keith QC, counsel to the inquests, read out the names of the 52 people killed. While most looked down, some held their hands together as if in prayer.
As proceedings drew to a close, bereaved relatives left the courtroom for the final time, some appearing relieved to have drawn a line under the ordeal.
Others remained, apparently allowing the words to sink in before they began to walk away.