I woke up today to the news that Manchester was hit with an abhorrent attack. As many of you will probably be aware, this attach involved an explosion at the end of an Ariana Grande Concert taking place in the MEN Arena which unfortunately took the lives of 22 people and injured a further 59.
While any attack of this nature is shocking, this event is more disturbing because it targeted young people and teenagers. Ariana Grande has a huge teenage following and the MEN arena is the largest indoor arena in the city. The attack has sent a shock wave throughout the UK and beyond. Many leaders have come together to condemn the attack and show support for the people of Manchester.
I know that I am one of many in the Swansea University community who are sending thoughts of condolences, strength and love to the people of Manchester. Any attack is abhorrent but it is more shocking and repugnant when innocent young people are the targets of such attacks.
At the moment, this attack appears to be the actions of one extremist, although ISIS has claimed some responsibility according to Reuters. Despite this I want to urge everyone to not give into fear and anger and punish Islamic groups or communities who are unconnected. I am sure many of you have read the stories of Muslim taxi drivers who are ferrying the injured to hospital for free. Actions of this nature are the work of a few extremists and do not speak for the whole community.
Like the attacks in London, Paris and Berlin, these attacks seek to divide nations and people through instilling fear and promoting prejudice. But, times like this calls for people to become united against such attacks.
My thoughts and good wishes are sent to the people of Manchester. I also want to say how sorry I am for everyone who has been affected; I cannot imagine the shock and pain of the families who have lost someone. For those still missing, I hope you are found and return home safe.
I also want to take some time here to show the admiration I hold for everyone who has attempted to help in the aftermath of the attack. It takes a level of courage and selflessness to try and help when you could be in danger or will see horrific things and I admire everyone who attempted to help the victims of the attack. Furthermore, I wanted to highlight the work of the emergency services, when the times call for it they really step up and serve the public and we would be lost without these people.
Take care everyone and please send some good wishes to Manchester.
P.S.- good luck with your exams.