Thousands gathered in Manchester city centre last night to hold a vigil in honour of the victims of Monday’s suicide bombing, which killed 22 people and injured 64.
Mancunians of all faiths came together less than 24 hours after the attack took place at Manchester Arena.
The city’s Lord Mayer, Eddy Newman, began the vigil by denouncing the attack and paying tribute to those killed and the emergency services.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins also spoke.
“As a father, I cannot begin to imagine how anyone can carry out such an unthinkable act – murdering 22 people and injuring 59,” he said. “My thoughts and those of my colleagues are very much with their families at this incredibly difficult time.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron were also in attendance.
We’ve rounded up the most powerful images from the evening below:
Victims of the attack ranged in age, from 28-year-old John Atkinson, to 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, who was described as “a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.”
Manchester photographer Natalie Thornley captured the powerful moment a heavily armed police officer blew a kiss to a group offering free hugs. She said the image captures perfectly “the love that has spread throughout the city.”
Thornley told Business Insider: “Tonight was really special. It’s more important now than ever before that we stand together in the face of this evil.”
Members of all faiths came together in Europe’s most linguistically diverse city — where more than 200 languages are spoken. The Sikh community gave out free drinks to those at the event, while Muslims lit candles to remember the dead.
At 6 p.m., the bells of the town hall in Albert Square chimed to mark the beginning of a two-minute silence.
Manchester United memorabilia was laid by candles.
The attack is the worst to have happened on British soil in 12 years. It was the fourth deadliest in UK history.
Poet Tony Walsh also made an appearance and captivated the crowd with one of his pieces. He described the great city as “ace” and hailed its music industry, its world-class football teams, and its wealth of history.
“They’ll never defeat all the dreamers and schemers who teem through these streets, because this is a place that has been through some hard times,” he said.
“And there are hard times again in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we won’t take your pity, because this is the place where we stand strong together.”
The worker bee, the symbol of Manchester, could be seen all over. The city adopted the symbol during the industrial revolution at a time when the city was shaping the future of mass production.
Vigils were also held in cities around the country, including London, Leeds, and Birmingham.
As the vigil drew to an end, the large crowd broke into a chant of the city’s name.