Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Manchester


When I woke up yesterday morning I was stunned because the first words I heard on the radio were:

"I know that some people will only just be waking up to the news of the horrific attacks in Manchester last night. This was a barbaric attack deliberately targeting some of the most vulnerable in our society - young people and children out at a pop concert. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the victims who have been affected and I know the whole country will share that view."

I raced downstairs to watch the news and discovered, to my horror, that a suicide bomber had detonated an Improvised Explosive Device in the foyer of the Manchester Arena, the city’s biggest concert venue, just minutes after an Ariana Grande concert had finished.

This would be a sickening and evil thing to do normally but in this case it was even worse, if that’s possible because the audience were mainly young people and children. Over the past day or so I’ve watched the news with a heavy heart as events have unfolded. I have seen the faces of children and teenagers in anguish as one of the pop events of their lives, an event that is meant to bring happiness and joy, suddenly became a terrifying real life nightmare.

Amongst the victims were young children, in particular a girl of 8 years old.

8 YEARS OLD!!!

I still don’t know what to say and the horror of what happened is still at the forefront of my mind.

Three weeks ago, my eldest son was at the Manchester Arena watching Iron Maiden. In fact, in the past five years, I have also been there on numerous occasions. It could have happened to any one of us.

I am shocked and upset and my heart goes out to all the victims of this tragedy.

I know exactly where the explosion took place and I know that it would have been really crowded just after the gig had finished. I can barely imagine how people who witnessed the carnage felt.

Knowing Manchester and its people as I do, I was not surprised to discover that people rallied to help.

The police and ambulance service were magnificent.

People heard about the tragedy and drove into the city to see if they could help, offering food and refreshments to the emergency services and people who were clearly distressed.

A hotel opened its doors for those stranded by the event and gave them a room for the night for free.

Taxi drivers took distraught people home for absolutely no charge.

Others gathered up young people and offered them refuge in their own homes until somebody could come and pick them up.

This is what Manchester is and why I love living in my adopted city.

I still cannot fathom why anybody would target such a vulnerable crowd of people. There is no cause on this entire planet that is worthy of such an atrocity.

Since the terrible events of Monday night, the police have made some arrests – in particularly in a suburb called Fallowfield where I used to live and is not far from where I live now.

The city is still shocked but Mancunians will eventually recover – we have done so before after the IRA bomb in 1996 destroyed an area of the city centre. Manchester evolved and grew after that and it will do so again.

We love our city and this will not change a thing.

I will leave you with a poem read out by poet Tony Walsh (known as Longfella) called “This is the Place” which he recited at the vigil following the tragedy yesterday.

This sums up the city and its people perfectly.



Manchester will always be wonderful. Mancunians will always be amazing people.

We will prevail.

4 comments:

River said...

It's heartening to read that so many people rallied to help, but so very sad that this is necessary, so very sad that these terrible attacks are happening everywhere.
These people need to be stomped on, hard, and stopped before they take over and the world as we know it goes to hell.

Elephant's Child said...

When will this obscenity end.
My heart goes out to everyone affected.

Big D said...

What a horrifying thing to do to a bunch of kids. Evil.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi everybody,

Yes indeed - pure evil. nevertheless, the city and its people remain defiant. It hurts but we'll get over it.

Cheers

PM