Manchester Bombing LAST Tuesday, May 22, marked the first anniversary of the terrorist bombing in Manchester.
The attack, which was carried out during an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena, killed 22 people and injured 800 making it in terms of casualties the deadliest incident on British soil since the July 7 2005 bombings in London.
Those are the dates and numbers, but they cannot convey the horror of what occurred. I know that I, and everybody else, can still remember the shock, revulsion, and uncertainty that we all felt as the news of the attack filtered through. There is not a single part of our great city, Tameside included, that was left untouched by the atrocity. There are so many people who lost someone, or who knew friends, neighbours or colleagues who lost someone.
But as clearly as we remember that, I know that we also remember how, in the face of violence and tragedy, Manchester came together as never before. In the aftermath, we saw people open the doors of their homes and businesses to offer a helping hand, without fear or favour, to men and women that they had never met before in their lives. We saw taxi drivers offering free rides and so many individuals queuing up to give blood that the hospitals had to turn some of them away. And, as always, we saw the incredible work of our emergency services, whose total willingness to put themselves in harm’s way was paid tribute to by both everybody at the scene, and in the report on the response to the attack that was published afterwards.
At a time where we could have so easily given in to grief and despair, a clear and unmistakable message was sent. A clear and unmistakable message that, when faced with the spectre of terror and hatred, Manchester will respond with the best values of our city and our country; respect, tolerance, love, unity and community. It is these values that will always provide us with the greatest response, and the greatest defence, to those who would wish to do us harm.
As we remember what happened last year, it falls to us to continue to promote and defend the values that we saw given form on Monday, May 22. Then, now, and in the future, we stand together with the rest of Manchester and its people.
● Councillor Brenda Warrington