I think I am still in shock. I keep trying to force myself to wake up. But I am already awake and the devastation that occurred within my home city last night was not just a nightmare in my sleep.
I really never thought I would be sitting here writing about a terror attack within Manchester. The notion always seemed far fetched and inconceivable that an atrocity on this scale could happen on my door step.
I live about 20 minutes away from the Manchester Arena where the bomb blast happened. I had actually gone to sleep when my phone buzzed at 11pm; my friend informing me that a bomb had gone off. My heart sank immediately and my mind began to spin. What had happened? Were there any fatalities? Why would someone do this? That sinking feeling only deepened when I realised that the majority of the audience at the concert were children.
As a Primary school teacher in training I couldn’t help but think of the children in my class. I knew none of them had gone but just imagining children of their age in sheer panic knocked me for six. I didn’t get much sleep from that point. I awoke every few hours to check on what had happened.
I truly can not imagine how all the people who attended that concert last night are feeling right now. A lot of those children have seen sights that no one should ever see. Those sights will stick with them forever and will shape their futures for years to come.
But by far the worst pain is being felt by those families who are now grieving or those who still cling to hope that their loved ones are safe. Now that is pain that is truly inconceivable and I know that the city of Manchester will do absolutely anything to help them through this process.
I have always been proud to be a Mancunian. It has always been my badge of honour and I would often when asked happily profess to being a Northerner through and through. From the love I have witnessed for my beautiful city via social media my heart swells with pride.
We are Manchester and Manchester is us. We stand together, not divided to renounce these heinous crimes and show that we are unbreakable. We are every race, faith and gender and we will stop at nothing to prove just how strong we are.
We will not let hatred win. We will hold our heads high and learn to smile again.
Manchester you are my city and I love every single person within this fine city. Lets show the world just exactly what we are made of.
‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here.’