The third anniversary of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack is being marked today (May 22) with live-streamed services of remembrance.
Hundreds were injured and 22 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a homemade explosive device in the Arena foyer at the end of an Ariana Grande show on May 22, 2017.
To honour the lives lost in the attack, Dean Of Manchester Rogers Govender read out the names of those who died and led prayers during a live-streamed service this morning. A second service will be broadcast on Manchester Cathedral’s Facebook page at 4:30pm BST. Viewers were encouraged to light candles in their home as an act of remembrance.
Posted by Manchester Cathedral on Friday, May 22, 2020
In previous years, the Cathedral’s bells have been rung 22 times at 22:31 – the time of the attack – in memory of the victims. This year, a recording of the bells will be broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester.
Local train operator Northern have put stickers of the Manchester worker bee at two-metre intervals on the floor of Manchester Victoria railway station so those paying their respects can do so in line with social distancing measures. The station is located next to Manchester Arena, and is home to a memorial to those who lost their lives in the attack.
Govender noted the “awful day” would be harder for mourners this year due to the coronavirus pandemic preventing families from being together “for comfort and support”. “We stand with you in solidarity,” he said.
Yesterday (May 21), Grande shared a message of solidarity with her fans ahead of the attack’s anniversary. “Not a day goes by that this doesn’t affect you and all of us still,” she wrote on Instagram. “I will be thinking of you all week and weekend.”
Earlier this year, the brother of bomber Salman Abedi was found guilty of murder for his part in planning the attack. His sentencing has since been postponed due to travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus outbreak.