One Love Manchester, the benefit concert to raise funds for the victims and families of the suicide bomb that killed 22 people leaving Ariana Grande’s show on the 22nd of May, was always going to be highly charged.
For her, for everyone else performing, for the local community, for the UK, and for people tuning into the televised tribute from afar.
And, then, terror struck again. This time in London.
More innocent people were killed, injured and terrified. It is the third terrorist incident in the city in three months.
It was 24 hours before Grande was set to perform alongside Take That, Robbie Williams, Pharrell, Miley Cyrus, Niall Horan, The Black Eyed Peas, Imogen Heap, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Liam Gallagher and more.
— aino (@greedymyass) June 4, 2017
Despite the events in London, the concert was not cancelled. The organisers persisted, the performers took to the stage and a crowd flocked.
Everyone involved revelled in the moment. In the music. In the fact of being together.
The footage of a policeman joining hands and dancing in a circle with concertgoers will not be easily forgotten.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) June 4, 2017
— Ula (@alulawings) June 5, 2017
It is hard to envisage a greater act of defiance than thousands and thousands of stars and fans descending upon the city where terror took hold just weeks ago. A day after terror strangled London.
The unity and resilience on show – in the face of inevitable fear – was breathtaking.
“Thank you so much for coming together and being so loving and strong and unified,” Grande addressed the audience. “I think the kind of unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now.”
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) June 4, 2017
A further three million pounds were raised during the televised event which means the Manchester Emergency fund now stands at 12 million pounds.
It “will help alleviate immediate suffering and ensure victims and their families do not face short-term financial difficulties,” according to the British Red Cross.
There are reasons to be fearful right now. How can anyone reconcile the events in Manchester and London and conclude otherwise?
— Yahoo Style UK (@YahooStyleUK) June 4, 2017
It is difficult to make sense of and it is difficult not to despair.
And yet, somehow, people are persisting. There is no joy in terror and yet there is joy in uniting against the fear and terror.
In recognising that giving in to the fear and terror is no way to honour the innocent victims, whose lives have been taken.
The family of Canadian Chrissy Archibald who was killed in the London attack have released this statement today.
They are urging everyone affected by the tragedy to commit to their own community as a tribute to her.
— Mike Le Couteur (@mikelecouteur) June 4, 2017
It won’t bring her back or remedy her family’s loss. In the same way One Love Manchester, obviously, couldn’t return the ‘angels’ who died simply for doing something they loved.
But it’s something we can do to ensure we aren’t beholden to the terror that killed them.