Over the last twenty-four hours after hearing the news about the attack in Manchester I've gone through phases of confusion, anger, guilt, and sadness on a repeat loop. There's no easy way to talk -- or write -- about such a heavy-hearted and emotional topic, but it would feel wrong for me if I didn't acknowledge this tragic event and how it's affecting me. Before I continue I would like to post a disclaimer that I am in no way personally connected to Manchester or any of the victims. I am simply a human being with overwhelming empathy.
I first heard of the attack minutes after it happened after I'd just returned from a run. My first thought was, "Is this real?" because I couldn't understand why someone would so menacingly target young, innocent concertgoers who were just trying to enjoy something they love. For the rest of that night I sat and read every article that appeared as the story developed. Honestly, I probably refreshed Google News every thirty seconds until around 3a.m. the next morning.
The suicide bombing in Manchester is unfortunately not the first attack of its kind, and that's what has shaken me the most. On November 13th, 2015 a group of terrorists fired bullets randomly into a crowd of 1,500 people and detonated explosive vests at an Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris. Then just two days before the deadly terrorist attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12th, 2016, Christina Grimmie, an artist who I'd admired since her earliest days on YouTube as zeldaxlove64, was fatally shot by a fan after her set when opening for the band Before You Exit.
Although the explosion didn't happen within the Manchester Arena venue, I believe that this event is still another example of the need for improvements in security measures regarding highly attended events around the world. As someone who has attended many concerts, and has just recently purchased tickets to another event, I would appreciate having peace of mind regarding my own and everyone else's safety when going shows that we pay so much money for, and dream of attending for so long. I am not one to usually post about politics, however I also believe that it is important for me to briefly mention that President Trump's response to this event has left me feeling embarrassed and disappointed to call myself an American citizen. I can only hope that if similar events unfortunately occur in the future, that he will address them more seriously and maturely.
This attack has left countless families in mourning, dozens of people injured, and reminded the world that something as horrific as this can happen anywhere, at anytime, to anyone. I have cried more tears than I have in a long time for those affected including the deceased eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, but the time for tears has passed and the time for permanent unity is long overdue. During dark events such as this I see a shred of light when random strangers become heroes and people from all over the world come together to provide support for those affected. It's heartwarming to know that in the midst of tragedy we can put aside our differences to help those in need. I only wish that this unity didn't have to be prompted by death, and that it was everlasting.
As the world begins healing from the tragic day of May 22nd, 2017 I urge you to remember that we all are human, to always choose love over hate, and to keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers.