The terror attack at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 innocent people has left a scar on our city that will never fade. It’s certainly been a difficult few weeks but, in the face of evil, this city has shown that our strength will never falter. Through bitter circumstances, we have seen incredible acts of kindness, large and small, that have highlighted what makes this city so great. Our spirit of defiance has shone through; from the mass of flowers that cover the pavements of St Ann’s Square, to the hundreds of people that queued to get a worker bee tattoo: a symbol of the city’s hardworking past – a meaning now more poignant than ever before.
But it hasn’t just been what we’ve seen in Manchester, but the phenomenal response from across the world. Global music artists came together to show solidarity with the victims of the attack at the One Love Manchester tribute concert. Attended by over 50,000 people, the star-studded line-up paid beautiful tributes to those affected and was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. Rather than oozing with the self-satisfied sort of pride that surrounds many charity events, One Love Manchester was so much more. The policeman dancing with young fans at the concert perfectly captured the spirit of the city: a sight that will resonate with us for a long time to come.
#OneLoveManchester has received over 11.8 million mentions in the past week, and the concert raised over £2 million for the families affected, taking the total of the We Love Manchester fund to over £10 million.
In difficult times, this city has shown its resilience, it’s fearlessness and its relentless love. We will not be defeated. We stand together. We are Manchester – and how proud we are.
“And there’s hard times again in these streets of our city
But we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity
Because this is a place where we stand strong together
With a smile on our face, Mancunians Forever”
– Tony Walsh, “This is the Place”