Pondering the importance of Signs, Symbols and Gestures

3 June 2017

The reaction to the recent terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena is very moving and thought provoking. The outrage, anger, grief, mourning, sorrow and pain have been channelled into a massive display of signs and symbols in St Ann’s Square, situated near to the Arena. Men women and children have come in great numbers to stand in solidarity and defiance with those who mourn, for those killed, injured, traumatised and shocked and for the people of Manchester. 

They come, bringing bouquets of flowers, ribbons, colourful balloons; they come with children bringing their toys. They come to stand in awe at the evil but in solidarity with each other and in deep compassion. They stand in tearful silence, sometimes hugging one another. 

When questioned by media personnel their answers are always much the same. ‘We needed to be here; we needed to do something; we needed to share the pain, to pray, to cry with the people, to defy the terrorists, to deplore the evil, to stand in solidarity with the people of Manchester.’

We have seen many such reactions, in this country and around the world, at road side accidents and in major incidents such as this one in Manchester.  More