Manchester chooses to stand together in love to oppose hate
Manchester has reminded the world of what community truly means. The city’s response to the horrific suicide bombing has been exemplary; choosing love over hate.
Defying the bombing at Manchester Arena on 22 May by Salman Abedi has been an act of courage and compassion.
The attack saw 22 people killed and dozens injured. Many were inspired to show unity and love in the face of probable division.
Ariana Grande, whose concert was targeted, returned to ‘the brave city of Manchester’ yesterday. She was here performing a Benefit Concert for the victims’ families.
The Grande concert took place at Old Trafford Emirates cricket ground in Manchester. Although she is headlined the show, she was joined by other huge stars. Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams and Usher also turned up. Take That and Niall Horan were also added to the bill.
Tickets to the gig sold out in just 6 minutes, it has been reported.
Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher lit 22 candles – one for each of the victims of the bombing – and declared ‘We are all together’ in his tribute concert.
This was Gallagher’s first solo gig, with all the proceeds going to a charity set up in the wake of the attack.
Since the attack, St Ann’s Square became the place to remember the victims and has since seen thousands of emotional tributes. Turned into a floral sea of bouquets, colourful trinkets, the square has received visitors from British Muslim leaders, priests, bishops, mayors, MPs and celebrities from across the world.
The common thread running through the reaction to the attack has been one of unity in #WeStandTogether.
Building burnt bridges
Although the official threat level was raised to critical, the highest grade, after the attack and 1,000 military troops were deployed to assist police in Operation Temperer, Manchester residents returned to normality in less than a week after the bombing.
Seven days after the attack, hundreds of mourners held a candle-lit vigil for the victims just after 10.30pm at St Ann’s Square. Meanwhile, a homeless man who helped victims has been reunited with his estranged mother.
33-year-old Chris Parker, who cradled a dying woman in his arms, had not seen mum Jessica for 5 years, and she did not know he was sleeping rough until she saw him on TV. Mrs Parker, of Norfolk, said the pair had an ‘emotional’ reunion on Friday 26 May.
Rather than divide the city, the attack has only strengthened ties between residents and built burned bridges between the separated. We love Manchester.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri