The city of unity. The place where you feel like you’ve been there forever as soon as you step into it. Manchester embodies pride and warmth, which transcends through the streets and into the hearts of the people who live there.
Sadly, it is also a place where over 20 people lost their lives, and over 50 were injured at Manchester Arena last night by a suicide bomber whilst they enjoyed a night of fun and music.
Today has been a day of reflection, grief, solidarity and confusion. Waking up to this news was harrowing. For more innocent people to be targeted, with many of them children and young people was incomprehensible.
Social media platforms were overflowing with constant updates, opinions and theories as to who, why and when it all happened. Videos submitted and published, pictures of the wounded leaked. Pleas from parents yet to find their children. Photographs of children and teenagers with the words “missing” above them shared.
It’s a surreal incident that has sent shock waves across the world. Celebrity’s words of comfort saturated social media, with fans and fellow musicians alike sending words of comfort to Ariana Grande, as she tried to process how something so barbaric could have happened at her concert.
This outcry for justice was met with some damaging words. Words that divide and place blame on the innocent.
But there were also stories of heroism. The homeless who were waiting outside the area to beg for money were some of the first to run into the arena to help those in need. The emergency services who risked their lives to save everyone else’s. Locals opening their homes and arms to anyone that needed shelter or comfort.
What started as a night of escapism to celebrate music, love and fun turned into a story of horror that will be told and remembered for years to come. Those who lost their lives will always be remembered. Those who survived will be left confused and somewhat traumatised from witnessing such an ordeal.
But today has also shown the heart of Britain. Our strengths lie in the diversity, culture, unity and love that the British people share and spread. This tragic incident has shown just how strong we are, and how resilient we will remain to be to any threat that comes to attempt to destroy our pride.
Do not focus on the hate, bitterness or aggression. Look at the good, the kindness and the love that has been shown by all.
We are stronger together. Do not let these events divide us.
If you’ve been affected by the attacks, click here for support and guidance.