In the Darkest Hour - The Manchester Attack
On Monday May 22nd, the Manchester Arena was host to Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman World Tour, where she performed in front of a crowd consisting of children and adolescents, along with their parents. Tragedy struck at 10:30 PM when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a deadly blast that took the lives of 22 victims in a horrific and gaping spectacle. It was a scene of graphic mayhem; crowds were running in fear, not yet comprehending the situation they were in, but knowing innately that something profoundly detestable had occurred. Many were separated from their loved ones, not knowing if they had escaped the arena unscathed or worse.
Scattered children were taken in by nearby Manchester families and hotels such as the Holiday Inn. 59 suffered injuries that led them to be hospitalised at Royal Manchester’s Children’s Hospital, where on Thursday they were visited by Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. There she spoke with the injured about the concert and the trauma they had experienced as part of this tragedy. This was a comfort in itself, reassuring them that England and its monarchy stands by their side in this trying time.
Likewise, on Thursday another act of solidarity was having a moment of silence in St. Anne’s Square, located in the heart of Manchester. After the silence, the crowd broke out into unison, singing Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.
Isis has claimed this plight of terrorism as part of their agenda, similarly to their 2015 attack on Paris at the Eagles of Death Metal concert that left 89 victims without their lives.
With tragedy and heartbreak, one thing Isis has not and will not break is our unity through music. Concerts, festivals, gigs have served as a hub of the community in which patrons have gathered to share in the enjoyment of music. Whether the genre be rock, such that is was in Paris, or pop ballads as performed in Manchester, we will persist in communing at these events and relishing the music our favourite artists create.
Through these actions, Isis tries to fear monger us into submission and deter us from living for fear of being attacked. There is reason to be cautious and to take heed of potential dangers, however, this should not stop us from living life to the fullest. Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it most eloquently stating: “The only thing to fear is fear itself”. This rang true during the time of World War II and continues to be applicable to today’s crises.
Artists around the world have shown support for Ariana Grande and the victims of the attack, including Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carrey, Harry Styles, Katy Perry, and Matty Healy from The 1975.
Charity drives around the country have raised as much as £4 million for the victims and injured parties at the concert. Ariana Grande herself has pledged to help cover funeral costs of the 22 casualties. Additionally, it has just been reported that Grande will be returning to Manchester to attend a benefit concert in hopes of raising more funds.
Our deepest condolences and well wishes go towards the victims and sufferers of the Manchester attack as well as their family and loved ones.
This is a historic hardship that shouldn’t have occurred, especially as it’s taken the lives of victims as young as 8 years old. Unity and solidarity have become most prominent, from the homeless having helped innocent children to people taking in stranded bystanders into their homes. Through this monstrous and horrendous debacle, society has stepped up to the plate and showed tremendous compassion and empathy, demonstrating that through thick and thin, with Manchester and all other terror attacks, we stand together as one.
Written by Devon J. Potter