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Hold Your Child A Little Closer Manchester Terrorist Attack
Last night I woke at midnight unable to sleep. It was then I discovered that the Manchester Arena had been attacked by a suspected terrorist. I felt sick knowing a friend on Facebook had sent her teenage daughter to the concert. She had posted “before” photos of her daughter getting ready to watch Ariana Grande.
I quickly searched for my friend’s Facebook page and was relieved to hear that her daughter was well and safe. As I watched the situation unfold during the early hours of the morning I felt sick to the stomach. It’s not about me, I’m not a victim. My child was not at that concert but she very well could have been.
We love to attend concerts and shows in Manchester and knowing that so many kids and young people would be amongst the dead and wounded gave me a sinking feeling to say the least. What cowards would target kids? I feel sad, I feel angry but I also feel defiant.
Will I let the terrorist who caused so much calamity last night affect my life? Will I let him scare me and control what I do? No! Of course it is natural to have feelings of sadness, anger, shock and disbelief but I won’t allow such cowardly acts to stop my family living our life.
When my child woke in the morning I held her a little closer knowing how blessed I was to have her safe and in bed. Some parents will never see their children again. Some children will never see their parents again. It’s heartbreaking.
I told my daughter what had happened and she confirmed that kids from her school had been talking about the concert. We live in Lancashire in the Chorley area and not long ago my husband and brother were at the arena watching WWE. My daughter had also been there back a month or so ago singing in Young Voices. The fact a building my family frequents was attacked really does hit home.
Throughout the day I have heard the sad news, learning of those missing. Then the first victim Georgina Callendar was announced. She was from Chorley, our town, the same place we live. She went to the college not far from our home. This made the situation very real.
Then the announcement of a little 8 year old child Saffie Rose Roussos. An innocent child enjoying what most likely would have been her first concert. From Leyland, again not far from our home. It was only this weekend my daughter was enjoying her 9th birthday. Saffie’s life has been cut short. Her parents won’t be able to celebrate their child’s 9th.
The terrorist attacks hit home really hard. It’s almost too close to home and I’m sure people around the country and the world will be shaken up over this cowardly act of terror. However we won’t allow it to define us. I didn’t want to send my child to school today. I didn’t want her to go to her extra curricular activities. I just wanted Sylvia home with me and safe. However that is what the terrorist would have wanted to make us live in fear and we will not!
Sylvia went to school. She went to her activities and when she came home I held her close once more. I sometimes wonder what this world is coming to. There are some sick people out there but then there are some amazing people who pull together in times of need. Like the homeless man who went into the building from the street and sat which a lady as she took her last breath. There are the taxi drivers who gave free rides to those stranded, the emergency services who did a fine job, people donating blood and everyone who has helped in this time of need.
So whilst the devastating news continues to spread and more victims are named, I will have a prayer in my heart for the families involved and also focus on the good. I will focus on those helping one another and those coming together in the spirit of love and community. I will stand tall and defiant and hold my child a little closer.