An Ode To Manchester’s Victims
8 years old. That was the age of Saffie Roussos as she took her last breath, on what should have been the happiest day of her life. She was just a little girl at her idols concert and as Ariana Grande sang ‘one last time’ an explosion would go off that would kill her and 21 other concert goers. There were children, parents and bloggers who paid to see their idol perform, hastily sending out tweets that would mark their last minutes on earth. Can you imagine how scared they felt, knowing that they were dying? The woman who died in the homeless man’s arms, crying out for human touch in her last moments. The parents who went to pick up their children and would never come home again. Or the mum who sent out a desperate appeal to find her daughter ‘Olivia Campbell’ only to discover that she had died in the explosions too.
It hit me, as I took the tube to work, as I raced through the train station how hard it must be for the families of the dead and injured. How, if it made me feel as horrible and as sad as I do now it is nothing in comparison to the multitude of emotions they must be facing. While all the deaths hit me hard, it was the death of Saffie Roussos that hit me the hardest. It wasn’t just because she was 8 years old and was killed before her time, but it was the fact that her mother does not even know she is dead that made me weep the most. Her mother is in critical condition and if she wakes up, it will be the hardest day of her life. I might not be a parent but I can imagine the anguish she will feel to open her eyes and know that her daughter will never say mummy again. To know that not only had she lost her daughter but the death was caused by the acts of crazed, selfish terrorists. I always knew that humanity was selfish but to know that people would intentionally harm the lives of innocents disgusts me.
I don’t want to live in a world where we are not only fearful for ourselves but for our innocents too. What did our children, our young people ever do to deserve such a horrible outcome, what did their parents ever do to have their children killed? It is in times like these that we must battle the forces of evil and come together as one. They think that they can pillage our villages and take away our lives but what they don’t know is how we will never be beaten. It’s time to step up and be selfless; think not about ourselves for once but for those hurt or killed in Manchester’s attacks. Put yourselves in their shoes… they hear an explosion and are running for their lives, barely aware of whether they will make it out alive or not. Some make it and some don’t, the grim reaper has come to collect their debt. People light Vigils in the streets, a silence is heard across the country but most of all, a fierce alliance is formed, because we stand with the people of Manchester, no matter what.
They say out of bad, good will be found and I believe they are right. When I read about the homeless man who pulled nails out of teenagers arms, heard about the homeless man who comforted a dying woman in his arms and saw Ariana Grande offer to pay for the funerals of the dead, my faith in humanity was restored. As humans we may be intrinsically selfish, but at heart we are pure and will offer a peaceful hand to those who need it. No matter whether you are poor, halfway across the world or without internet you can give solace to the families of the dead and injured. Whether it is through kind words, fundraising, giving blood or even a smile, I want you to tell them that you love them and will be there for them no matter what.
We spend so much of our lives hating each other, making wars and being spiteful, that we forget why we are on earth in the first place. These young people and their parents were killed because of the act of a cowardly terrorist who thought of nothing but his own selfish ambition. Don’t be selfish, be selfless; be a pillar of strength to those in need, be the arms who envelop them in a warm hug and above all ‘kill evil with kindness’. They want us to be broken and bent into submission but they will never win the war against humanity. Because love conquers all so make love not war. I want to remember the names of those 22 brave innocents who died because they should never be forgotten, no matter how much time has passed. We only have one life to live and they were cut down before their lives had even began. Please join me in giving what little money I do have to support the families of the dead, even something as little as a pound can be a welcome addition to Manchester’s Emergency Fund.
Hug the ones that you love and kiss them goodnight, cherish all the stolen moments and be grateful for all the things you do have. We only have one life so live it to the fullest, because you never know how much time we have left on this earth.
22 names, 22 dead, but 22 voices that will never be silenced. Remember them:
Megan Hurley, 15, Liverpool
Elaine McIver, 43, Cheshire
Courtney Boyle, 19, Gateshead
Philip Tron, 32, Gateshead
Wendy Fawell, 50, Otley, Leeds
Eilidh MacLeod, 14, Isle of Barra
Chloe Rutherford, 17, South Shields
Liam Curry, 19, South Shields
Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, Leeds
Michelle Kiss, 45, Blackburn
Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 51, Blackpool
Nell Jones, 14, Goostrey, Cheshire
Martyn Hett, 29, Stockport
Angelika Klis, 40, Poland
Marcin Klis, 42, Poland
Olivia Campbell, 15, Bury
Alison Howe, 44, Royton
Lisa Lees, 43, Royton
Kelly Brewster, 32, Sheffield
Saffie Rose Roussos, 8, Tarleton, Lancs
Georgina Callander, 18, Whittle-le-Woods, Lancs
John Atkinson, 26, Radcliffe, Manchester
Will You Join Me In Donating Money For Manchester’s Victims?