By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
A national memorial service held in northern English city, Manchester, on Thursday commemorated 22 victims of a terror attack, which targeted a concert hall a year ago.
Prime Minister Theresa May, Duke of Edinburgh Prince William, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
The service marking the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing, which was also attended by family members of the victims started with prayers and hymns.
A minute of silence was observed at 2.30 p.m. local time (1530GMT) across the U.K.
At least 22 people were killed and dozens more, including children, injured in a suicide attack at a concert in the northern city of Manchester on 22 May 2017.
Approximately 59 people were injured at the 21,000-seat arena when the bomber blew himself up in the foyer area.
Ariana Grande tweeted a message of support for those who were affected by the deadly incident.
"Thinking of you all today and every day," she said.
'Scars are deep'
"I love you with all of me and am sending you all of the light and warmth I have to offer on this challenging day."
Speaking to BBC, Mayor Andy Burnham said the city was still recovering from the attack.
“Manchester has changed; we’re stronger and more together and there is a palpable sense of community spirit.,” Burnham said.
“But underneath the scars are very real and deep. We’re a city in recovery.”
Thousands of people are expected to gather for a sing-along at Alber Square in the evening hours. Church bells across Manchester will ring at 10.31 p.m. to mark the exact time of the deadly attack.
British-born Salman Abedi, 22, who has Libyan heritage targeted a foyer area of the Manchester Arena as concertgoers left a performance by American pop singer Ariana Grande.
The national terror threat level was raised to ‘critical’ from ‘severe’ after an evaluation by terrorism specialists, meaning a terror attack was imminent.
Approximately 1,000 military personnel were deployed across the U.K. to provide security at key sites including the Buckingham Palace and the parliament building in London.
In 2017, 36 people were killed in terror attacks in London and Manchester.