One Year On from the Arena Bombing

Cover of the Manchester Evening News, 22/05/2018 - a black cover, a heart made of bees, and the names of the 22 victimsA year ago today, at 10:31pm, 22 people lost their lives. Young lives, full of potential, enjoying Ariana Grande. In the days that followed, I attended the big Albert Square vigil, I shared in the grief. My city, my home, had been attacked. More than that – I’ve been to the Arena to see Bill Bailey and Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails and other acts, with friends and loved ones. This feltĀ personal.

The One Love Manchester concert a fortnight later was another opportunity for us to come together, around the world, to start to rebuild. Plus will.i.am shouting “What’s up London?” at Old Trafford, which was a cringe-inducing, hilarious gaffe.

In the year that’s passed, I’ve been proud that we’ve not forgotten the attack, but we’ve not let it define us either. Today’s commemorations have shown the city at its best, and the complete failure of the Football Lads Alliance protest last Saturday shows that we won’t let the tragedy be co-opted by hatred.

Just as Manchester is bigger than the IRA bomb in 1996, we’re bigger than this. We’re the greatest city in the world. And we mourn the dead and we don’t forget and we take pride in ourselves and each other and our city. And tomorrow, just like last year’s tomorrow, we get up and we get on with it. One Love.