I’m not sure where to begin.
As I sit here today, I cannot take in what has happened. Watching the news unfold as more police raids are taking place in Manchester leaves me stunned that this is our home they are all talking about. Before I go further, I would just like to thank the Emergency Services of the North and the NHS for their incredible response to the events this week. Without whom, tens more would have undoubtedly perished as well as those working alongside the depraved creature that carried the bomb into the arena that night may well have escaped justice.
On the 22nd May 2017 21,000 children, teenagers and parents went to the Manchester Arena with the expectation of enjoying a night of music, fun and making memories to last a lifetime.
22 of those innocent souls never came home.
I will not speak the name of the animal that caused this atrocity. Why should I spit his name when there are 22 other names that should be on every news stand worldwide.
His name does not deserve airtime. It is what they want, and is the reason they do such disgusting crimes. They want their names in our mouths, the fear in our hearts.
I cannot begin to fathom what the survivors and families of those involved in Monday nights attack are going through, they have all my thoughts and love.
There have been varied reports of the total people injured, some have said the total stands at over 100 people. There are still people, families, frantically searching for people who have now been missing since the explosion on Monday night.
The most frightening thing about this atrocity is the fact we are fighting a war that has no face. Terrorism has no face, no race or religion. Their cowardice is shown in that they will not show their faces.
The spirit of Manchester has never been more obvious than now, in a time of need. Manchester is a city of diversity, one of hard work and community. The response from the public has been extraordinary. Mancunians came together to open their doors to strangers, gave them somewhere safe to stay and wait for their parents, taxi drivers lined up, switched their meters off and took people home. The community brought food, hot drinks for policemen and emergency service workers and comfort to those children separated from their parents. People queued out of the door to donate blood for the sheer volume of patients that had been admitted to various hospitals around Manchester. Vigils were held in the city centre and in the smaller towns surrounding, including my own. These people come from every race and religion that Manchester welcomes into it’s diverse arms. There are of course those that are still under the impression that being a Muslim means being a terrorist. I implore those people to think about their ignorance.
No religion condones the murder of children.
No religion asks its followers for war and slaughter.
No religion is Terrorism.
We have been undoubtedly shaken by this attack on our most vulnerable, but we will stand strong and we stand together. They cannot beat us as we stand shoulder to shoulder, refusing to bend and crumble in the face of their violent barbarism.
Though it is the hardest of wars to fight, we will not give in to terrorism.
Not now, and not ever.
Martyn Hett Marcin Klis Angelika Klis Kelly Brewster
Olivia Campbell John Aktinson Alison Howe Lisa Lees
Saffi Roussos Georgina Callander Nell Jones Jane Tweddle-Taylor
Michelle Kiss Sorell Leczkowski Eilidh MacLeod Liam Curry Chloe Rutherford Elaine McIver Megan Hurley Wendy Fawell Courtney Boyle Philip Tron
Remember them. Remember how they had their lives so cruelly stolen from them. Remember them for their families, now broken.
Remember their names.