Today marks the 4th year since 22 people were killed in blast, hundreds more were injured. In the aftermath of what was the act of a suicide bomber, Manchester pulled together as a community in a magnificent attempt to heal with love, not hate as the focus. The Manchester Evening News has written a poignant piece as they remembered the victims on this day.
Manchester pauses to remember the 22 who died in the Arena bombing – and their enduring legacy.
The bomb went off four years ago today, at 10.31pm on Monday, May 22, 2017
Four years ago today, an act of evil visited our city.
But through the terrible grief and pain, we came together and showed the world what the Manchester we know is all about – love, not hate.
We quietly, proudly laid flowers, balloons, images of bees and ‘I love Mcr’ signs in St Ann’s Square, which groaned under the sheer weight of the mementos and force of the emotion that poured out from all of us.
Every year will be the same: we’ll feel the pain of those who lost loved ones; we’ll feel pride at how we responded, the legacy encapsulated by our mantra: love, not hate.
Manchester was today (Saturday) marking the fourth anniversary of the Arena bombing, offering prayers and quiet reflection to remember the 22 who died and the hundreds of others who were injured.
With mass gatherings still restricted because of the continuing coronavirus restrictions, the anniversary will be marked with acts of remembrance during the morning (9am) and evening (4.30pm) prayer services at Manchester Cathedral.
The names of those who lost their lives will be read out.
The services will be livestreamed via the Manchester Cathedral Facebook page.
During the day, the cathedral will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm for private prayer and the lighting of candles.
However, in line with the arrangements around the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent funeral, the leaving of floral or other tributes outside the cathedral or elsewhere in the city centre is being discouraged.
The cathedral bells will toll at 10.31pm – the precise time when the bomb when off – as well as those of St Ann’s Church in St Ann’s Square, which became a sea of flowers and tributes in the days after the 2017 attack.
Floral tributes in St. Annes Square to those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena terror attack.
From next year, the focal point of any commemorations will be the new Glade of Light memorial which is being built close to the cathedral.
Salman Abedi killed himself and 22 others when he detonated a huge suicide bomb in his backpack as mainly young concert-goers were leaving the Arena.
Artwork in Victoria railway station on window of cafe to mark the anniversary.
Hundreds of others were seriously hurt.
The continuing independent inquiry into the atrocity, which was not sitting today or yesterday (Friday), paused at 10.31am on Thursday, to remember those who died.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017 nor the moving way the city came together to express solidarity with all those affected by the attack and a determination not to give in to hatred.
“This year will pay our respects once more, albeit in a necessarily low key fashion, and our thoughts remain especially with the families of those who lost loved ones in the attack.”
Joanne Roney, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: “Four years may have passed but we know that for many the pain of what happened on 22 May 2017 has not diminished. We will always remember those who were killed, as well as those left with physical and mental injuries.
“Of course, anniversaries have a particular resonance but we don’t just remember them one day every year and it is heartening that good progress is being made on the city’s permanent memorial.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel has paid tribute to the victims, and the spirit of unity in the city.
“On the fourth anniversary of the attack at the Manchester Arena, my thoughts and prayers are with the 22 people who lost their lives, their loved ones and all those that have been affected by the tragic event,” she said.
“I am always in awe of how the people of Manchester came together in the wake of the attack and continue to provide unwavering support to their community.
“Anniversaries can be a challenging time for those who have experienced or been affected by terrorism, whether at home or abroad.
People can be affected in more ways than many of us could ever imagine and it is vital they get the support and advice they need.
“Throughout the Manchester Arena Inquiry, the NHS Greater Manchester Resilience Hub is providing support for anyone directly affected by the incident including family members and first responders.”
Source, Manchester Evening News.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this cruel and cowardly act.