I wanted to take a moment to talk about something that happened last week that had a significant impact on me, and many others around the world. The terrorist attack in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert has left many of us feeling shaken up to say the least. Fear of terrorist attacks in large, heavily populated public spaces is something that we have all had to live with in recent years. It is something that is always in the back of my mind whenever I leave the house, but of course it is not something you can let hold you back from living your life.
This attack hit everyone particularly hard because of where it took place: at a pop concert that was filled primarily with young women and girls. A concert. Think about that for a moment. We have all been to concerts, right? If we’re lucky enough to see an artist or music group that we love perform live, it is nothing short of magical. The connection between the performers and the audience is real; when music we love is being played live and we are surrounded by complete strangers who share the same passion, something beautiful happens. This is usually the moment where lighters, or cell phone lights, go up in the air. All you can do is take in the music, the moment, the universality of it all, and graciousness exudes.
To attack that feeling and that moment is evil. To infringe upon that moment of peace and beauty is horrendous. To cut short someone else’s life, for no reason, during such a profound moment, is an evil act.
Many of the concert attendees spoke of the moment the attack occurred, and said that it was at the end of the concert. This is usually when we are gently coming back down to earth after that high of being so in sync with the music and the feelings of happiness that replaced our everyday worries, if just for a few hours. It is a precious moment, and it was forever tarnished for these people.
I do not want young people to be afraid to go to concerts. Music and the arts are such a sacred place for all, but especially young people. The fact that twenty-two people lost their lives at a concert is incredibly heartbreaking. The fact that as many as fifty people have severe injuries because of this terrorist attack which will forever mark the rest of their lives is heartbreaking. But the fact that these were young women and girl is what is especially saddening.
Music is so powerful. It brings people together for good reasons. I would hate to think that this will no longer be the case for so many people who probably will not be attending any concerts any time soon, or ever, in their lifetimes after what has happened. I don’t blame them. We cannot control what happens every day when we walk out our front doors. With greater concert security screenings this may have been a preventable attack. I can’t say for certain. But it does not mean that the potential for other events is not still there, because unfortunately, it is.
I just want to say that I support those people whose lives have been forever changed by this, the victims and their families but also the readers who are here right now, and those of us who were thousands of miles away and only learned about it through breaking news updates on our phones. We will all be impacted by this whether we realize it right now or not, and as an internet friend speaking to whoever is out there, I just wanted to say that I am with you and here for you no matter what.