May 22nd 2019 marks the second anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack, an atrocity where 22 lives were taken and hundreds were injured. It’s difficult to forget the horror as I watched the news coverage in 2017; it’s incomprehensible to imagine the reality of the terror.
Floral tributes have been left at Manchester Victoria Station and St Ann’s Square, a focal point for memorials. Bells will peal from civic buildings tonight at 10.31pm, a poignant marker of the exact time of the suicide bombing.
A small commemoration took place in St Ann’s Church for the families of the victims and emergency services. Manchester Cathedral has been open during the day for people to join in quiet reflection and prayer.
May 22nd will always remain an emotional day of remembrance for the city, but it has also become a date to celebrate the strength of Mancunian spirit.
Thousands of colourful hand-crafted hearts, many decorated with the iconic Manchester bee, are dotted around the city centre and passers-by are encouraged to take one on their commute. The heart-warming project – #aheart4mcr – seeks to put a smile on a stranger’s face. With messages such as ‘made with love’ and ‘one love Manchester’ adorning the hearts, they are simple yet thoughtful gestures; homage to those affected, and a reflection of the good will of Mancunian people.
Oasis’ famous song lyric, ‘Don’t look back in anger’, epitomises the essence of this city’s resilience. As the world watches two years on from the attack, we are reminded just how welcoming, tolerant and incredible Manchester is. Today isn’t a day to ‘look back in anger,’ but one to look forward in hope that such an act of inhumanity never occurs again. Remembering the silent power of the Manchester Bee; it has become a symbol of kindness, forgiveness and love. Comfort should be taken in the solidarity and compassion that Manchester continually displays. Whether you’re Mancunian born and bred, or a student living here like me, we all are swept up in the spirit of the city that we can call home – it’s radiating even more brightly today.
I would like to take a moment and remember the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack – 22/05/17.