Manchester, News

Manchester attack: After the silence – moving forward

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By Frankie Richardson

At 11am this morning the country fell silent with Manchester, in memory of those who lost their lives in Monday night’s horrific attack. Pink balloons moved gently in the breeze above a sea of flowers in St Ann’s square as people took a moment to reflect on the awful loss suffered by so many families, and the 64 people still in hospital, 22 of whom are in critical condition. The whole country shares in Manchester’s grief and shock, and Manchester sends it’s hearts to the homes of those who came here to enjoy a concert and never returned.

To Lancashire, to the families of Georgina Callander, Saffie Roussos and Michelle Kiss. To York and Poland to the families of Angelika and Marcin Klis. To Sheffield, to Kelly Brewster’s loved ones. To Blackpool, for Jane Tweddle-Taylor. To the Isle of Barra, the tight knit community now missing Eilidh MacLeod. To Leeds, and those now mourning Sorrell Leczkowski and Wendy Fawell. To South Shields and everyone devastated by the loss of young couple Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry. And here, to the families of Nell Jones, Martyn Hett, Olivia Campbell, Alison Howe, Lisa Lees, John Atkinson, and police officer Elaine Mciver, being mourned by her colleagues even as they continue to attend to the constantly developing situation. They are all Manchester. Their names will forever be kept in our collective heart. Manchester is a city built on it’s ability to adopt those who come from outside. People of all backgrounds, race, belief, and nationality have made their homes here, and every single person involved in Monday night’s atrocity is now Mancunian, regardless of where they came to us from.  The vicious attack has only succeeded to make Manchester more diverse, more inclusive, more open hearted and more united, a fact symbolised wonderfully by great rivals Manchester United and Manchester City Jointly committing £1 Million to the ever-growing Love Manchester Emergency Fund to support victims and their families.

The Queen arrived at The Royal Manchester Children’s hospital this morning to speak to some of the fantastic staff who have worked so hard to care for the injured, and to offer the nation’s support and comfort to the children still being treated and their families. Britain’s heart remains firmly in the North-West today and will continue to live there in the coming weeks and months.

Eight people have so far been arrested, arrests which Greater Manchester Police have described as ‘significant’, and the police continue to work tirelessly to make sure Manchester is safe. Controlled explosions have been carried out and even as the country stood in silence GMP were responding to what, thankfully, turned out to be a false alarm in Hulme. The debt of gratitude we owe to our incredible emergency services cannot be understated. Prime Minister May reminded us this morning that the Terror Threat Level has been raised to critical, suggesting that another attack is considered imminent, and experts have suggested that a bomb maker may well be still at large. In response to that threat, 1000 Soldiers have been deployed to support the police and free up armed officers from other areas of the country to come and support our own police here.

The silence in St Ann’s Square was followed by a sustained applause, and Manchester’s pain is being followed by sustained determination. People are nervous, still reeling, but going about their business in the City with great strength, refusing to allow this to change the way they live their lives.  There is a huge sense of civic pride on our streets, and the determination to recover stronger than we were before, and to do it together as one, is palpable and inspiring.



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