Can We Just Take a Second To Appreciate How Great Manchester Has Proved Itself To Be?
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll doubtless have been touched by the events that occurred in Manchester over the last few weeks.
Despite being a Swansea University student and living over 200 miles away from the city, I have personally never felt closer to Manchester. Nor have I ever appreciated so much how great a city it is.
While standing among my fellow Swansea students in a vigil for the victims of the terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena, it really struck me the extent to which Manchester’s solidarity was exactly the kind of response the world needed to see: one of courage, and spirit, and love.
In amongst the horror of reading about what had happened, it was a true joy to also read that, in true Mancunian spirit, the city was standing together.
From free cab rides, to places of worship for countless faiths opening their doors to those in need. Homeless people joining forces with the emergency services to help those who needed it, hotels offering free accommodation, shops and communities handing out drinks and food to victims and police officers alike.
Vigils were held across the city to remember those who passed away during which the crowds broke into renditions of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ made famous by Manchester’s own Oasis. Muslim communities came together to march for peace. Hundreds queued for hours in the sunshine to get tattoos of the Manchester bee, the proceeds for which all went to a fund set up by the Manchester Evening News to help the victims and their families. Street art popped up all over the city to honour the victims. The list goes on…
22 bees for the 22 lives lost at the Manchester Arena tragedy by @qubekmanchester . . . #nqmanchester #northernquarter #manchester #uk #streetart #igersmcr #wearemcr #welovemcr #westandtogether #ilovemcr #ilovemanchester #iheartmanchester #thisismcr #pulsemanchester #lovinmanchester #mancmade #manchesterbomb #manchestergram #manchesterfacts #manchesterfinest #manchesterbee
At the University of Manchester, free counselling sessions were made available for anyone affected, with support from LGBTQ, Muslim, Christian, sports and academic societies throughout the University.
Ilyas Nagdee, Diversity Officer at Manchester University, wrote on huckmagazine.com:
“You see, Manchester isn’t like the rest of this country. Manchester is different, Mancunians are different. Mancunians are the greatest of humanity. They are the people who leave their bus tickets tucked into the timetable frame at the bus stop for the next traveler, they are the ones who pull out a couple of quid to help anyone who asks. They are the ones that thank the street cleaners, the ones who’ll strike up conversations whether you’re up for talking or not.
We’ll never forget that no matter what happens, Manchester will always persevere and preserve together.
Because as we all know…
On the sixth day, God created Manchester.”
As you’ll likely have seen, music events have also paid tribute to Manchester. An almost impossible silence was heard at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, the crowd at a Courteeners gig burst into yet another rendition of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, and Ariana Grande hosted the ‘One Love Manchester’ concert Sunday night, with the likes of Justin Beiber, Coldplay and Katy Perry all making an appearance.
The concert also became far more relevant following another attack in London over the weekend.
— BBC Music (@bbcmusic) June 4, 2017
So yes, Manchester, you’ve proved yourself to be amazing, and this is before we’ve even considered all of the other reasons why it’s an incredible city.
I didn’t choose to go to university in Manchester, but if I had I’d be proud to call it my home.
If you would like to donate to the fund mentioned above and help those affected by the attack, you can find it here.