It has taken me such a long time to write this piece for you and I must admit it has been so hard as so many of us and our friends and families have been affected by the shocking terrorist attack at Manchester arena.
On the night of 22nd May 2017, thousands of excited children, teenagers and adults looked forward to the anticipated Ariana Grande concert, but the actions of one evil person changed many of their and our lives forever. That person has been named as Salman Abedi. Seen on CCTv wearing a dark cap, puffa jacket carrying a backpack containing the homemade bomb, he headed towards the arena. Stepping in to the foyer as the final song ended and the concert goers began to leave, he detonated the device containing nuts, bolts and screws, killing 22 innocent people (the youngest being 8 years old) and injuring 59 more.
However, through all of this horror and chaos, people joined together to help anyone they could, however they could. Emergency services worked around the clock to give the best care they could, hotels offered sanctuary and accommodation for separated families. Off duty NHS staff rushed back to work to provide emergency care for the victims, taxi drivers gave free rides away from the scene to places of safety and two homeless heroic men names as Chris Parker and Stephen Jones have two quite amazing stories. The community spirit in Manchester is truly phenomenal.
Amongst all of these local Manchester heroes, were two Co Durham heroes names Gareth Jones and Dan Eves, who amongst the choas, carried wheelchair user Klicea-Nicole Richardson from the foyer of the arena, after her friends were unable to lift her down the stairs to safety. She later posted a message to social media to search for the men who saved her life. Read all about their story here.
Weeks later and vigils are still being held all over the country and tributes are flooidng in from allover the world, to remember and pay respects to the victims and their families. These remind us that love is greater than hate and that the actions of one person does not define or divide our beautifully diverse, accepting and understanding country and it’s unique cities. We will get through this scary time together as one.