Chester will fall silent today (Tuesday, May 22) to mark the first anniversary of the Manchester bomb which killed 22 people including off-duty Cheshire police officer Elaine McIver from Ellesmere Port.
A minute’s silence will take place at 2.30pm with new Lord Mayor of Chester Alex Black observing the commemoration from Chester Town Hall steps where people are welcome to gather to show their respects.
On May 22, 2017, a total of 22 people lost their lives and many more were injured when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device in the foyer of Manchester Arena where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing.
Among those killed was off duty Cheshire detective Elaine McIver, who grew up in Ellesmere Port but had been living in Frodsham. She was with her partner Paul Price when they got caught in the blast while waiting to collect Paul’s teenage daughter and her friend from the concert.
Paul, who was seriously injured, was the ‘love of her life’, and the couple had been excitedly planning their future together.
Schoolgirl Nell Jones, 14, from Goostrey, Cheshire, also perished.
Cheshire West and Chester Council will lower flags at council buildings on May 22 as a mark of respect to all those who lost their lives and were affected by the tragedy.
Following the minute’s silence, the Lord Mayor will light a candle of reflection in the town hall. Books of condolences will be open until May 31, 2018.
Cllr Alex Black, the new Lord Mayor of Chester, said: “The terrible incidents at the Manchester Arena on the evening of 22 May, 2017, are still so fresh in all our minds.
“As a city, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Manchester and other countries that have been affected by terrorism. Our thoughts go out to those affected by the awful incidents as we face the first anniversary.”
The First Anniversary Commemoration programme is led by the Manchester Together initiative.
The commemoration programme is based around two themes. One is Remembrance: Reflection and Celebration of Life, recognising each of the 22 people who lost their lives, those who were injured and the first responders. The other is Manchester Together, embracing the solidarity shown by the city.
Council chairman Cllr Bob Rudd said: “The first anniversary will be a very emotional time for so many people tragically affected by the devastating attack on concert-goers at the Manchester Arena.
“It is really important that we remember all the people who were affected and continue to show our support and solidarity to them as we continue in the fight against terrorism.”