Manchester attack: How city honours 22 killed in suicide bombing at Ariana Grande concert one year on

National minute’s silence to mark devastating attack by Islamic extremist Salman Abedi

Joe Sommerlad
Friday 18 May 2018 17:41
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Manchester attack: City pays tribute one week on

The first anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack which left 23 people dead and up to 800 more injured, will take place on Tuesday.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a homemade explosive device made of shrapnel, nuts and bolts in the venue’s foyer at the close of an Ariana Grande concert, killing himself in the process.

His youngest victim was eight years old.

After the attack, local homeowners, hotels, small businesses and Sikh temples opened their doors to protect members of the 14,200-strong crowd fleeing the arena, while emergency services personnel, ambulance crews and passers-by came to the aid of the wounded.

Prime minister Theresa May immediately called a the emergency Cobra committee, which raised the UK’s terror threat level to “critical”.

Isis claimed responsibility for the attack the following day.

The following month, Grande hosted the One Love Manchester benefit concert at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, which was broadcast live on TV and was attended by 50,000 people.

Stars including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Take That, Stevie Wonder and Liam Gallagher joined the 24-year-old on stage.

She closed the event which raised £2.7m for the victims, with an emotional rendition of Judy Garland’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The American pop star was subsequently made an honorary citizen of Manchester.

On the anniversary itself, the UK will observe a national minute’s silence at 2.30pm on Tuesday afternoon.

The Duke of Cambridge and the prime minister will be among those attending a service of remembrance at Manchester Cathedral, along with families of the deceased, first responders and local civic leaders.

The service is invitation-only but will be broadcast on big screens at nearby Cathedral Gardens and will also be shown at York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and at Glasgow Cathedral.

That evening, the Manchester Together – One Voice concert will be held in the city’s Albert Square between 7.30pm and 9pm. Among the 3,000 singers performing will be the Manchester Survivors Choir, comprised of concertgoers at the Arena on the fateful night. There will also be a 30-minute communal singalong, with Oasis’s “Don’t Look Back in Anger” expected to provide a stirring moment, as it did at the One Love event.

At 10.31pm, church bells will ring out across the city, marking the precise moment the bomb was detonated a year previously.

Poignant song lyrics – chosen by the families who lost loved ones in the bombing – will be projected onto the walls of St Ann’s Church and on St Ann’s Square and New Cathedral Street.

Finally, well-wishers will be invited to hang tribute messages on Trees of Hope, 28 Japanese maples placed around the centre of Manchester.

In a recent interview with Time magazine, Ariana Grande described the attack as the “absolute worst of humanity”.

She said: “The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen.”

“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world. I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day.

“I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.”

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