Manchester bombing: Prince William leads tributes at memorial service
The English city of Manchester came together Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of the terror attack that killed 22 people attending an Ariana Grande concert.
Families of the victims, the injured, emergency services and local and national leaders were joined by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, for a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral.
Those inside the cathedral were joined by thousands more across the country in a minute’s silence to remember those killed in the suicide bombing as they left the Manchester Arena.
Prince William read from Corinthians during a service full of song and tribute to the victims and their families.
The cathedral service was shown on a big screen in the city as well as in other cities across Britain, including York, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Earlier, Grande paid tribute to the city of Manchester to mark the anniversary of the terror attack.
The American singer Grande, who visited the injured in hospital in the wake of the bombing and returned two weeks later to host a fund-raising concert, wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Manchester is marking the day with a series of events including the memorial service at the cathedral and a musical tribute in the evening.
Writing in the Manchester Evening News Tuesday, May paid tribute to the city’s courage and spirit in the aftermath of the attack.
“Today my thoughts and prayers are with those who were lost on that terrible night, their loved ones who have so bravely battled to rebuild their lives; those who have courageously fought to overcome physical injury or mental scars; our first responders and emergency services and those volunteers and professionals who are continuing to help this community heal,” May wrote.
“All of you — and many more in this great city – are the very best of what this country stands for.”
Later Tuesday, more than 3,000 singers from local choirs will come together to mark the anniversary in Albert Square.
One of the groups performing is the Manchester Survivors Choir, a group made up of those who were there on the night of the attack, and a local school choir that performed onstage with Grande at the One Love concert.
Bells will ring out across the city center at 10:31 p.m. to mark the exact moment of the explosion last year.
For the rest of the week, song lyrics will be projected onto St. Ann’s Church, St. Ann’s Square and New Cathedral street from dusk on May 22 through to May 26.
Families of the victims and members of the public were asked to submit a single line from a song that had a personal significance for them.