The Duke of Cambridge spoke of living with his own grief as he told families of those killed in the Manchester Arena bombing that their lost loved ones ‘would never be forgotten’.
Prince William said he knew “the pain and trauma have not disappeared” as he and Kate Middleton attended the opening of the Glade of Light memorial, which honors the 22 lives cruelly torn away in the terrorist attack.
As the fifth anniversary approaches, the royal lyrics used ‘written by some of this city’s most famous sons’ as he praised the Mancunians for refusing to look back in anger and react to hatred with love.
William briefly referred to his late mother Princess Diana during his heartfelt speech before some relatives of the victims sobbed while a choir sang Halo by Beyonce.
A white marble “halo” in the center of the new memorial bears the names of the slain and personal memory capsules containing souvenirs and messages.
‘For Catherine and I, it is very important that we are with you here today. To remember the 22 lives that were taken so brutally ‘, said the duke.
‘To acknowledge the hundreds of lives that were irrevocably changed, and to pay tribute to the resilience of this great city.
‘I remember only too well the shock and sadness on the faces of those I met when I visited Manchester in the days following the atrocities.
Remember the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing
Those who died in the attack were:
Saffie-Rose Roussos, eight years old, from Preston
Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, of Leeds
Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from the Isle of Barra
Nell Jones, 14, of Cheshire
Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, of Bury
Megan Hurley, 15, from Liverpool
Georgina Callander, 18, of Hesketh Bank
Liam Curry, 19, and Chloe Rutherford, 17, both of South Shields
Courtney Boyle, 19, and Philip Tron, 32, of Gateshead
John Atkinson, 28, of Manchester
Martyn Hett, 29, of Stockport
Kelly Brewster, 32, of Sheffield
Angelika Klis, 39, and Marcin Klis, 42, of York
Elaine McIver, 43, of Cheshire
Michelle Kiss, 45, of Whalley, Lancs
Alison Howe, 44, and Lisa Lees, 43, both of Oldham
Wendy Fawell, 50, of Otley and Jane Tweedle, 51, of Blackpool
‘Five years later, I know that the pain and trauma that many feel has not disappeared.
‘As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten.
‘There is comfort in remembering. By acknowledging that even though they were taken terribly fast, they lived. They changed our lives.
‘They were loved and they are loved. That is why memorials like Glade of Light are so important. Why Catherine and I so wanted to be among you today. ‘
He said he hoped the public memorial could be a place of comfort, he continued: ‘When the people of Manchester gathered to show respect for the victims just days after the atrocities, you told the world that your music would not be brought to silence.
‘Instead, you raised your voices together and sang a love song written by some of this city’s most famous sons.
‘That day you told each other that you would not look back in anger. And you showed the world the true heart of this extraordinary place. So when we come to this memorial, let’s look back with love on those we lost.
‘Let’s look back with love on the people who cared for and protected this community. And let’s look back with love on the continued strength of the great city of Manchester. ‘
Kate laid flowers before the couple went to a private reception inside Manchester Cathedral to talk to some of the abandoned and brave emergency workers who helped with the attack.
The royal couple had quickly traveled up to Manchester after William saw his father give the Queen’s speech for the first time in Parliament
The Bishop of Manchester said the 22 victims would be ‘forever in our hearts’, while Joanne Roney, CEO of Manchester City Council, announced the people of Manchester to meet in ‘grief and love’.
Each of the victim’s names was read aloud followed by a period of silence in honor of the lost lives.
Hundreds of people were also injured when terrorist Salman Abedi detonated his splinter-packed backpack bomb on May 22, 2017.
The bomber’s younger brother, Hashem Abedi, was jailed for life in March 2020 and is due to serve 55 years before parole for his part in the terror plan.
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