22 Candles were lit today to remember the victims of the attack in Manchester Arena one year ago today. The minutes silence this afternoon is there to remember that our nation is not as it was before the rise of the Terrorist organisation ISIS, (The Islamic State). A moving procession was held at the Manchester Cathedral where commemorations and speeches of affable remembrance toward the 22 that died and the 800 and more that were injured in the bombing by a soldier of Jihadist extremism that picked a music concert simply because the audience was predominantly made up of children as young as eight. The audience was made up of the families of the victims, priests and politicians listening to accounts of the day that tested the ties of our nation and left the thought that no mother should bury her child a horrifying reality to some.
But the grave correlation doesn’t begin to drag it’s heals here as the result of last years bombing in Manchester Arena where 22 people, (mostly children ) died has left an acidic flavour on tongue of history. Socrates once spoke that “No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils”. For those who are left behind they see the journey taken by those lost as the greatest of evils instead of the greatest adventure and little to learn from this other than the baneful nature of man at its worst. Try explaining the Athenian philosophers maxim to a mother who was to bury her child before she had even reached her 13th birthday.
Eight year old Saffie Roussos was one of the victims on the 22nd of May 2017 who lost her life. Saffie’s father Andrew, 44, said: “There are a lot of good people out there and we have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown. This is undoubtedly a testament to how unity has birthed from tragedy
“Our life, our home and our business were in Leyland and Saffie was such a huge character and a massive part of it”. This was Andrew Speaking earlier this week about the painful decision to relocate.
“To go back to that without her and to have those memories would have been too hard. Saffie spent a lot of time with customers and was known and loved in the area. Even walking around Tesco would have been difficult as we would have been expecting to see Saffie at every corner”.
The grief that Saffie’s family feels still from the loss of their youngest shall never fully find resolve but they may find solace in the love that’s given to them by all else who see human empathy as a necessary toward those who have suffered such extreme losses. There are still discussions for a permanent memorial to be erected in Manchester but with this being the worst event of terrorism since the 2005 bombing of the London underground I think it’s more than likely the fallen children of Manchester shall be justly commemorated, and rightly so.
But there should of course be no commiserations toward the attacker ‘Salman Ramadan Abedi’, (except from his father who still protests his innocence and the Jihadi extremists who enforced him) a Sunni Muslim who like all other terrorists who have waged a war on our democracy condemn us for the God we pray to and the culture we keep. When it comes to freedom and liberty our enemies want us to be completely in the dark.
Like the Bataclan attacks in France in two and half years ago last years bombing brought the people together in solidarity regardless of their background in faith nor ethnicity. Sadly for our European neighbours this only lasted for a short period before the loftiness of division between the secular state and ethnic beliefs came back with a vengeance in dogma. Former President François Hollande is on record to have previously stated in rather obvious viewing that ‘France has a problem with Islam‘. This may address the external issues of foreign attackers but it neglects the ongoing need France has in talking about it’s fractured multi-culturalist attitudes. Nothing has been done to stifle the rise of the far right except for the result of the last election when Marine Le Pen National front party was expected to surge through but only garnered 33% of the vote against Macron’s 66%. But even with the far right being put into political wilderness for now anti-Islamic, (and anti-semetic) rhetoric still plays a huge part in the nations views on the ethnicity of their society. And whilst they are the central target of Jihadi extremism this will continue to limp on until President Macron and even his successor is leaning harder on religious doctrine, as well as anti religious hard lines.
The hub of our own inescapable test in the culture of the UK has also been going through since domestic terrorism began to probe the foundations of our society in 2005 as a result of our intervention in the middle east. The United Kingdom’s position on our cultural division between Muslim and British and whether those affected by the atrocities in Manchester last year will write the history books blaming a lone wolf or expanding their anger toward an entire people has yet to be seen. This test has yet to been seen as a sustainable force but seeing the procession of unity in Manchester Cathedral today it shows that at least on the surface a mothers will is much harder to break.