A day of strange sorrow and fierce pride.

Today I woke up to an array of texts from across the globe checking if I was ok. I had yet to find out why. I had yet to find out that I would be grateful I woke up at all. I called my parents to find out why they were asking me if I was safe, knowing in my gut it must have meant that something bad had happened in Manchester that I had yet to discover. I was still half asleep, very groggy and found myself brushing it off with a ‘yeah I’m fine’.

It was only once I’d hung up that I began to properly digest what might have been happening. I immediately opened Twitter and as I read the accounts of horror and devastation and saw the images that were forced into my view from my timeline my stomach lurched. The silent tears fell in solidarity of my beloved adopted home town. My magnificent Manchester had been targeted. Our beautiful and kind and generous sister and brother residents had been felled in the most despicable of manners. In one cowardly act, falsely carried out the name of a god who would despair at the thought of inflicting violence, a spineless cretin had tried to break our city. Tried and failed.

I have shed many tears for the lost ones today. Young and old alike, lives taken without thought. I have shed a tear for those left behind to live with the gaps in their lives these losses have left. I have shed a tear for those that are now too afraid to venture into the world for fear of targeted retribution due to their heritage or colour. I have shed a tear for the witnesses whose lives and minds will never be the same again.

But I have also rejoiced. Rejoiced in the pride that my city rallied to those in need when they needed it the most. Rejoiced in the solidarity shown across the globe to my city. Rejoiced in the fact that ‘this is Manchester, we do things differently here’. We will NEVER be cowed into submission, rather we will rally our cries of ‘Together We Stand!’ with the fiercest of voices and the strongest of hearts!

Take note those that think this is the way to ‘teach us a lesson’, your ‘lessons’ are meaningless. Your message is flawed. You are COWARDS!

AND WE WILL NOT BE BROKEN!

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