We are all Mancunian today. As the devastating news unfolded through the night and the horror of this vile act of terrorism became clear our thoughts are with those who are injured, the families of those who have perished and those who still cannot locate their loved ones.
I cannot understand what those family members are going though. Someone who can is Brendan Cox – husband of brilliant Jo who was taken so early in similarly terrible way. His words this morning are poignant and precise:
‘Thinking of every family whose lives have been destroyed today by a cowardly hate filled attack. So much pain and so pointless.
‘People who use this to push hatred are doing exactly what the terrorists want. Division and hate make us weak, unity and resolve make us strong.’
We should resolve not to remember this cowardly man – whenever his name materialises – but those who ran towards danger and went out there way to keep other people’s kids safe and sound. We should remember the emergency service workers who do what they do every day but at the moment in the public eye but with added danger.
Manchester will show its resolve today. It will show Britain at its best. It will treat those from the local neighbourhood, far flung parts of the United Kingdom and our international visitors all the same. It will do it as both a matter of course and with dignity and respect.
To everyone in a hospital bed and sitting by their side or desperately trying to find lost family members, we send our hope for a full recovery and safe return. As we come to terms with the grief and pain this hateful figure has caused we must resolved to not be changed by this terror but more determined to beat what inspires it and show pluralist, liberal societies will win through.
Richard Angell is director of Progress. He tweets at @RichardAngell