County Times reporter tells of his experience at Manchester memorial after terror attack

Reporter:

Jonny Drury

Less than a week on from the harrowing scenes in Manchester, the city still lay almost silent, still in mourning.

Walking around the streets of Manchester this weekend, it was hard to imagine what had gone on just six days earlier.

Despite the city being as packed as ever, it was quiet and subdued as people still grieved.

On Saturday evening, 50,000 people packed into Old Trafford, across the city from the attack, to see The Courteeners, a city band admired by all in Manchester.

It began with a poem, a tribute to Manchester, its people and their reaction.

It included words such as ‘if you think you can beat us, you don’t know who we are,’ and ‘this is our Manchester’.

An emotional start to what was to be a massive tribute to the victims, and a big message to the attackers. People almost saying:  ‘This city will not be beaten.’

It was a credit to Manchester, a credit to its people and a privilege to have been a part of.

On Sunday, I visited St Anne’s Square, the shrine to the victims, where people have gone to pay their respects all week.

It was a surreal experience, like nothing I've ever experienced before.

A thousand plus people observing, in near silence.

It was chilling to see, but also showed how much compassion this country has. You wouldn’t witness that in many other countries.

Police continued to patrol the streets, as people went about their bank holiday, fighting on in the face of adversity.

At the gig and at the memorial brought one thing to my mind, and it may be a cliche.

But it made me proud to be British.

See full story in the County Times

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