LONDON – Ariana Grande paid tribute to her fans on Tuesday when dignitaries, survivors, first responders and the people of Manchester met for the anniversary of the. The pop star wrote in a tweet to the survivors and the families of the victims that she "thinks of you today and every day".
"I love you with me and send you all the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day," she wrote in a tweet with a bee, the bourgeois symbol of Manchester.
Salman Abedi, a 22-year-old Brit of Libyan descent, blew himself up Fans left Grande & # 39; s Concert at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017. Twenty-two concertgoers were killed and police say more than 800 people were left behind "with physical and profound psychological trauma." Grande suspended her Dangerous Woman tour after the bombing and returned a few weeks later for the charity concert One Love Manchester, which raised funds for the victims of the attack.
Last June, Grande was named honorary citizen of Manchester after a unanimous vote by the City Council. The singer paid tribute to the victims of the attack, including the youngest, Saffie Roussos, who became nine last July. During the July Grande show in Buenos Aires, the singer repeated her interpretation of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which she also played on One Love. She concluded the song with a kiss and said, "Happy Birthday, Saffie."
On Tuesday, in Manchester, the residents made defiant statements of unity despite extreme violence.
Some laid bouquets in St. Anna Square; Others left handwritten notes on Japanese maple trees planted to form a "trees of hope" path through the city. A note quoted Bishop Michael Curry's sermon at the royal wedding on Saturday: "A wise bishop said, 'It's power in love.'"
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said it was a day to "get together".
Thousands of people stopped at 14:30 in front of Manchester Cathedral. for a minute's silence, which was observed throughout the country – including in Parliament, where legislators stopped their debates and fell silently.
Prince William and Prime Minister Theresa May joined survivors and rescue workers who responded to a memorial service
A choir sang "Amazing Grace" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and humanist leaders all spoke to the community.
On the altar were 22 burning candles, from the wax of thousands of candles left in the days following the attack on St. Anna's Square in the city.
William read a passage from the Book of Corinthians in the Bible: "Faith, hope and love remain, these three, but the greatest of these is love."
Robby Potter, who was hit by shrapnel while he was on it was waiting to pick up his daughter from the concert, saying he felt that he needed to come to the ministry "to support the families who have lost people."
"We were very fortunate enough to know how happy we are" he told Sky News. "It's a case of standing strong, the country was strong, especially Manchester."
Later, thousands of people – including a choir of survivors – are scheduled to gather for a concert and singing in St. Ann's Square. The event will include interpretations of Grande's "One Last Time" and "Look Back In Anger" by Oasis, which became an unofficial anthem from Manchester after the bombing.
Bells on the town hall and churches will sound at 10:31 pm, exactly a year since the bomb exploded.
Police say 100 investigators are still working on the case. The UK has issued an arrest warrant for Abedi's younger brother Hashim Abedi and is seeking his extradition from Libya – a process that is anything but easy given the country's political chaos.
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