Yet another city was struck by a terrorist attack, this time it was Manchester. But this attack was different. Why? Because it deliberately targeted the most defenseless members of society, namely children. What most thought would be an amazing night out, getting to see one of the most famous pop stars perform live in front of their eyes, turned out to be a nightmare they will never forget. Attack after attack, death after death, is it truly possible that anything good can come from such horrors?

Manchester

At around 10.35 PM on Monday night, a loud explosion was heard near one of the exits at the #Manchester Arena, where pop star #Ariana Grande had just given a concert.

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Most of her fans are young girls and many were there with friends and parents. Excitement soon turned into terror when people heard loud bangs and started desperately trying to flee the premises. Many people were hurt in the process and, as of 16:00 P.M. GMT, 22 have been confirmed dead and 60 injured. The youngest victim was an eight-year-old girl. A minute of silence was held at Buckingham Palace to commemorate the victims. It is important to note that bad events such as this one often tend to bring communities closer together and foster solidarity among people. In the words of someone who suffered tremendous hardships; "Where there is hope there is life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again." - Anne Frank.

Together we stand

An attack on part of a community should be seen as an attack on the entire community, no, the entire nation.

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The British people understand and believe this, and strong signs of solidarity were almost immediately apparent after the attack. A fundraising campaign was launched to raise money to help the families of the victims of the attack. So far, over four hundred thousand pounds have been raised. This is solidarity. This is humanity at its best.

Free taxi rides

Taxi drivers also took the initiative to help by offering free rides to anyone who was in the area where the attack had just taken place. Many people were able to get home safely because of these great acts of kindness. Sameer Arshad, Manchester a taxi driver, put it this way; "You can either stray away or you can pull together. And at times like these, we needed to pull together."

Free homestays and hotel rooms

Taxi drivers weren't the only ones trying to help. Worried Manchester residents quickly started the #RoomForManchester movement that offered victims of the attacks free stays at hotels and houses. Many people who came for the concert weren't Manchester residents, so many didn't have a home to quickly get back to.

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Train services were shut down and the roads were mostly blocked because of the amount of police and ambulances present at the scene. Tweets quickly started going out inviting victims to take shelter in homes and hotels in the area.

International response

Many world leaders have expressed their solidarity with the people of Manchester and vowed to continue working together to prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future. Several other European countries have been the victims of #terrorist attacks, so it comes to no surprise that European leaders were some of the first to make statements about the terrible events that occurred in Manchester. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her "great sadness and shock" but added that such attacks would “only strengthen our resolve to work with our British friends against those who plan and execute such inhumane acts." French president Emmanuel Macron made it clear that France sent its “compassion and solicitude” to the British people. Macron, together with his prime minister Édouard Philippe, walked to the British Embassy in a sign of solidarity and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, stated that the Eiffel Tower’s lights would be turned off at midnight on Tuesday in homage to victims. American President Donald Trump also condemned the attacks and called the terrorists responsible " evil losers".

How we should feel

It is completely unacceptable that such attacks are becoming increasingly common in our cities and countries. We undoubtedly need to take a tough stance against terrorism and anyone who supports terrorist ideologies. But what is tough? We could argue that we should increase defense spending, start wars, marginalize people, discriminate against other religions, but does that really help? The main goal of terrorism is to terrorize, to spread fear, and to divide. If they can achieve this, then they have won. It doesn't matter if we are richer than they are, smarter than they are, more numerous than they are; if we allow our countries to be divided they have won. Being tough means standing together in the toughest times and spreading love and unity where there seems to be none. This is us winning against them, and this is the mindset that will ultimately allow us to defeat this poisonous ideology infecting our planet.