22 May 2018

Manchester community - arena attack anniversaryEven a year on, as I write this post now, it is impossible to comprehend a deliberate attack on innocent people, let alone children.

There are no words to describe the impact that the Manchester Arena attack had on our city, our home. The hundreds of families shaken to their very core, 22 lives lost and thousands changed irreparably forever.

As the song says: “Don’t look back in anger.” When you’re looking back on the events from a year ago today, it’s natural to feel angry. The attack had the potential to send our city to its knees. But, whilst our foundations were rocked, the response wasn’t anger – it was, and still is, togetherness.
Through the overwhelming shock and sadness that rippled through our home in the days and weeks that followed 22nd May 2017, one thing is clear: Manchester stands together.

From the thousands of bouquets of flowers and balloons flooding St Anne’s Square, to the impromptu singalongs all over the country, we pulled together and did all we could to support those affected. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering the families of the 22 faced back then, and still today. But one thing is certain, they will never be forgotten.

Today we come together a year later to remember the lives lost that night, to take a moment of reflection to thank the first responders and emergency services, and to send hope and our best wishes to those still recovering from that day.

Manchester vigil may 2017

At the vigil outside Manchester Town Hall last year.

Fear doesn’t divide us, it brings us closer together

Hearing of the attack is the news that everybody dreads – it’s something I will remember forever. I was on a mountain top, on a trip in the Outer Hebrides with friends. We rushed back to Manchester to join the thousands of others in Albert Square.

This evening, there is a series of events including a private cathedral service, a mass choir performance in Albert’s Square, and the bells will toll at 22:31 to mark the moment of the explosion.

There’s no denying the sadness in our hearts but once again we show the world that fear doesn’t divide us, it brings us closer together.

The Manchester community shows above all else that love overcomes hate.

On behalf of the UKFast family, our thoughts are with everyone impacted that night. We’re here for you, we’re with you.

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