Report provided by Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary
The City of Manchester, a Vice President City of Mayors for Peace, will be holding a number of events to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena which occurred on the 22nd of May 2017. The two key events will include a Civic Memorial Service at Manchester Cathedral from 2-3pm on the 22nd of May. The service will be attended by the families of those who lost their lives, those injured, first responders, civic leaders and senior national figures. There will also be the opportunity for anyone to watch the service on a big screen in Cathedral Gardens close to the cathedral. For those who cannot make it to Manchester, the service will also be screened at York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Glasgow Cathedral, and on national television.
In the evening of the 22nd a special event will take place in Albert Square, directly outside Manchester Town Hall from 7.30pm-9pm. This will see choirs from across the region coming together in song to share the spirit of solidarity and remember the victims of the attack, many of whom were children. The final half hour of the event will include a mass ‘singalong’ and it will go out live on BBC Radio Manchester.
From the 19th-27th of May, a ‘Trees of Hope’ trail will also run from Victoria Railway Station (adjacent to the arena where the attack took place) to St Ann’s Square (where flower memorials to those who died were laid in 2017). Schoolchildren from around Manchester have made messages of peace which will be placed on trees along the route between these two sites, and members of the public will be encouraged to write their own messages of peace, love and remembrance. As for something more long term, a permanent set of memorials to the 22 people who were killed in the bombing is being developed, as is a new contemplative peace garden in the city centre.