UK to fall silent to remember Manchester Arena bombing victims

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 8:48 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 10:14 am

The UK will fall silent at 2.30pm today (Tuesday) to remember those who died in the Manchester Arena bombing a year ago.

The terror attacked claimed the lives of 22 people, while more than 800 others were either physically or psychologically injured, after a device was detonated at the end of pop star Ariana Grande's concert.

A remembrance service is being held at Manchester Cathedral where hundreds of those injured, plus the families of those killed, will be joined by by the Duke of Cambridge and Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as first responders to the scene, civic leaders and other national figures.

The service will take place between 2pm and 3pm and will incorporate a national silence at 2.30pm, which will also be marked at UK government buildings.

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Members of the public will be able to watch proceedings on a big screen in nearby Cathedral Gardens, while the service will also be screened at York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Glasgow Cathedral.

Ariana Grande sent all those affected a touching message via social media this morning.

The 24-year-old tweeted: "Thinking of you all today and every day. 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."

thinking of you all today and every day 🐝 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

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 22, 2018

This evening, more than 3,000 singers from local choirs will join forces and share the spirit of solidarity at the Manchester Together - With One Voice event in the city's Albert Square from 7.30pm-9pm.

Manchester Survivors Choir, a group made up of people who were at the arena on the night of the attack, and Parrs Wood High School's Harmony Group, whose post-attack tribute went viral last year, are two of the acts who will perform.

It will conclude with a mass 30-minute communal singalong, which will include Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis which became the symbol of the city's spirit.

At 10.31pm, bells will ring out from the city's Town Hall, St Ann's Church and St Mary's RC Church to mark the moment when the attack took place 12 months ago.

Writing in the Manchester Evening News, Mrs May said: "The targeting of the young and innocent as they enjoyed a carefree night out in the Manchester Arena on May 22 2017 was an act of sickening cowardice.

"It was designed to strike at the heart of our values and our way of life in one of our most vibrant cities, with the aim of breaking our resolve and dividing us. It failed.

"For such appalling acts of wickedness will do nothing but strengthen our resolve to defeat such twisted ideologies and beliefs.

"The resilience and determination shown by this city in the 12 months since is testament to that."