Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Thousands Came Together For Manchester Arena Bombing Anniversary

Two police officers stop to read some of the hand-written messages left on one of the'Trees of Hope placed throughout Thousands Came Together For Manchester Arena Bombing Anniversary
Shannon Reynolds | 23 May, 2018, 21:27

Earlier in the day she'd paid her own tribute to the victims, writing: 'I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day'.

The attack took place during an Ariana Grande concert at the city's arena.

Ariana Grande has opened up recently about how she has been affected by the suicide bombing that took place at one of her concerts at Manchester Arena previous year, killing 23 people including the bomber himself. Others left hand-written notes on Japanese maples that have been planted to form a "Trees of Hope" trail through the city.

It was that anthem that began the singalong in Albert Square on Tuesday night, introduced on video by Noel Gallagher and led by 2,800 amateur singers from choirs across the region.

The Ramadhan Foundation, who two days after the attack in St Anne's Square brought faith leaders from Greater Manchester together, have said that although the attack showed the worse in humanity it also showed the best - with the hundreds who stepped in to help.

A choir sang "Amazing Grace" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", and Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and humanist leaders all addressed the congregation.

Robby Potter, who was hit by shrapnel as he waited to pick his daughter up from the concert, said he felt he had to come to the service "to support the families who have lost people".

A woman leaves some flowers ahead of the Manchester Arena National Service of Commemoration at Manchester Cathedral

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, told BBC Radio that all those impacted would be "at the very forefront of our minds" during the day. This day will be hard for you all, but know this - you are not alone, Manchester stands with you.

Later Tuesday, more than 3,000 singers from local choirs were scheduled to join forces and share the spirit of solidarity at a "Manchester Together - With One Voice" event, including a choir of people who were at the arena when the blast struck.

Take That's Never Forget followed as members of the crowd embraced and held their hands in the air - before The Beatles' All You Need Is Love rounded things off.

Bells will ring out across the city center at 10:31 p.m.to mark the exact moment of the explosion previous year.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the Manchester bombing as a live murder inquiry, with a sustained team of around 100 police officers on the case.

Salman Abedi's brother Hashem Abedi remains in custody in Libya, with Britain seeking to extradite him back to Britain to stand trial for allegedly helping the plot.

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