Compassion and resilience shines through sunny Manchester vigil
Thousands gathered at a vigil in Albert Square to remember people who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena attack.
The vigil inspired many others to be held across the country in solidarity with the victims of the attack.
A minute’s silence was held as thousands of crowds spilled out on to nearby roads from the square. What became immediately apparent was the astonishing unity and message of defiance echoed by everyone in attendance.
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Eddy Newman, began the vigil by thanking the emergency services, which prompted huge applause.
He said: “The people of Manchester will remember the victims forever. We will defy the terrorists by working together to create cohesive, diverse communities that are stronger together.
“We are the many, they are the few”.
Bravery and courage spelt the evening’s motto
Tony Lloyd, former Police and Crime Commissioner and interim mayor for Greater Manchester, also spoke at the event. He said: “We’re not going to accept evil acts dividing us.
“You can see throngs of people have come out to pay their respects. But in the end it’s the resolution that says ‘we’re not prepared to be divided’”.
Mr Lloyd said “we pride ourselves on our diversity” and that diversity cannot be “challenged by one evil individual”.
“We’ll get through this because that is the spirit of Manchester”.
Vigils were also held across the country in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Coventry, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Bolton, Swindon and Leeds.
Tarleton in Lancashire also held a vigil which was attended by the mother of victim Georgina Callander. Georgina lived in the village and another of the victims, eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, went to school there.
Many of those at Manchester’s Albert Square were girls around the age of the young people killed on Monday. Most of them had rushed to the square from school and work to pay their respects.
Manchester residents came together in a warm manner that was markedly Mancunian and intrinsically inspirational.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, loved ones and any affected by the attack.