Last night, in the midst of dancing the night away, I received a text message from my mother that was quite frightening. She informed me that there had been a bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Hearing this awful news while being abroad hit me a lot harder than it would have if I were at home in the U.S.
You see acts of terror on the news and they are always heartbreaking. There are shootings, but rarely are there bombings in the United States. You usually feel pretty safe. You go about your normal, everyday life. That’s exactly what these people were doing in Manchester. Tons of parents dropped their children off at this concert eager for them to come home and tell them how it was. Girls were getting all dressed up and looking forward to a night out listening to live music. They didn’t expect to be involved in a bombing, or even worse, not come home. I can’t imagine the fright my family or friends felt knowing that I was in the U.K. while this happened. Although Belfast isn’t necessarily close to Manchester, it’s a lot closer than if I were home in the United States.
Waking up this morning to text messages, snapchat messages and even Facebook posts asking if we are okay over here and telling us to be safe was definitely kind of scary. I didn’t expect there to be a terrorist attack while I was studying abroad. The fact that I heard this news from my mother who is almost 4,000 miles away was shocking because I was only about 170 miles away and I hadn’t heard about it yet. Watching the news last night and today was so sad. The whole world was focused on the city of Manchester and the United Kingdom as a whole. There were constant live updates and information being poured out for the whole world to hear. People were sending their love and prayers on every social media platform.
Today we went on a tour of Belfast where we saw the Peace Wall. This wall was meant to keep the peace between the Protestants and the Catholics. The wall was covered in graffiti and signatures from people all around the world. Not only were their signatures, but there were plenty quotes and sayings about peace and love.
Reading these quotes was a good reminder that even with all the bad going on in the world, a majority of people have love in their heart and want peace for all. It was nice to see these enlightening words on a day like today, after a terrorist attack flooded the world with sadness.