As the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack continue to be identified, each story turns out as heartbreaking as the next. One of the victims of the Manchester bombing, Alison Howe, was a mother who had come to Manchester Arena to pick up her teenage daughter. Howe, 45, had come with Lisa Lees, 47, and the two were waiting in the arena's foyer when the explosive device went off.
The two women came from Royton, a town in the northeastern part of Greater Manchester. They were initially reported missing, but their relatives released the news that they were among the victims on Tuesday night. It is believed that their daughters are both safe. Howe's stepson Jordan Howe posted about her on Facebook, saying "They took a caring beautiful mum and step mother away from us all she was amazing to us all x love you loads Alison Howe xx."
So far, 22 people have been pronounced dead and 120 were injured following the horrific attack at Manchester Arena, which occurred right after Ariana Grande had performed her final song at the concert. Among the victims are several young people and parents, like Howe, who were waiting to pick up their children. Ariana Grande is most popular among young girls, and, heartbreakingly, this is likely part of the reason that her concert was targeted.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday, which has left the country reeling. Mancunians gathered at a vigil to mourn and celebrate the lives of Howe and the other 21 people killed. Those who attended said that the mood was defiant against terrorism, with a diverse crowd that more than adequately represented the range of people who call Manchester home. The overwhelming message of the event, as said by the city bishop, was that “love is always stronger than hate.” The city has sent out a strong message of solidarity, showing that Manchester rejects the fear and mistrust that terrorist attacks are trying to cause.
Following the attack, the UK has raised its international terrorist threat level to critical, meaning that authorities believe that another attack is possible. This is the country's highest threat level, and UK citizens have been seeing military personnel on the streets just as a precautionary measure. While this cannot directly help the families of the victims from Monday's attack, hopefully it means that British authorities will be able to find and apprehend anyone who may be attempting to carry out another attack.