This one really hurts.
This one was children and teenagers. Innocent young people, attending a fucking pop concert. These children went out to have a fun evening and they never came home.
I attended my first gig when I was about 13. I watched McFly perform on stage and it was one of the best nights that I can remember. I sang at the top of my lungs and jumped about with my friends and no point did I ever think I was in any danger. Because I wasn’t. Because there wasn’t a lunatic waiting in the foyer with a bomb, unlike in the Manchester arena last night.
Concerts are special. Concerts bring on a sense of togetherness that you just can’t replicate. You’re bound to a crowd of people who share the same love of music as you. There is so much joy and love in that space at that time. It’s a moment that can’t be replicated.
And now they’ve become just another place that we’re not safe.
The hatred that it takes to drive a person into an act like this is incomprehensible. To go somewhere with not only the intention of killing, but of killing children at a concert is something even the most deplorable people would struggle to understand. This wasn’t some senseless act of violence. This was the calculated murder of as many young people as possible.
I’d ask why, but I know why. Targeting a group that is predominately made up teenage girls is an act that is solely designed to shock. To intimidate. To scare. We are supposed to be heartbroken and we are supposed to be angry.
But last night showed the best in human kindness. Last night we saw people take in stranded children, we saw people drive all night to make sure strangers got home, we saw taxi drivers wave fees, hospital workers work through the night, hotels take in people for free. And this morning we saw thousands more doing all they could to help. Queues of people waiting to donate blood. Search parties looking for missing children. Donations being made to support the families who suffered.
People are inherently good. People are kind and acts such as this one just bring out the best in us. Manchester showed us what a great community looks like last night, and across the world we are seeing just how strong people can be.