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HomeUK NewsManchester Arena bombing memorial The Glade of Light opens to the public

Manchester Arena bombing memorial The Glade of Light opens to the public

A memorial for the 22 people killed by a suicide bomber at Manchester Arena officially opens to the public today.

The Glade of Light is a white marble “halo” showing the names of the people who died in the May 2017 attack.

Families of the victims have been allowed to embed memory capsules containing mementos and messages inside the halo.

Intended as a peaceful place of reflection, plants will provide year-round colour and mirror the changing seasons.

White flowers from a hawthorn tree at the centre will also bloom around the time of the anniversary on 22 May.

Work began on the memorial in March last year and fences will come down on Wednesday ahead of an official opening event in the spring.

The Glade of Light is located between Manchester Cathedral and Chetham’s School of Music.

Manchester Arena terror attack: Who were the victims?

Figen Murray, mother of Martyn Hett, who was killed in the attack, said the memorial “would be right up his street” and that he would “love” the people of Manchester to visit it.

Speaking to Sky News, Mrs Murray said: “I think a memorial is really important after a huge event like the arena attack because it’s not just important for the people who died and the bereaved families.

“It’s important for the injured, for the people who have been psychologically damaged and for the people of Manchester because this is such a huge thing that happened in Manchester, it should never be forgotten.

“It’s also a place for future generations to come and remember, so that they are reminded of what happened that day, it’s part of the city’s history and it’s a really important memorial for that reason, and for all those reasons really.”

Those who lost loved ones have been able to make personalised memory capsules, which are embedded inside the halo.

Families were also given the opportunity to visit privately before the memorial opens.

Mrs Murray said she had placed a USB stick, some photographs and “a few special items that I am sure he would appreciate” into the capsule in memory of her son.

Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig said: “We will never forget those whose lives were lost on 22 May 2017.

“They already had a permanent place in the hearts of Manchester people. Now they have a lasting memorial in the heart of our city.

“The Glade of Light is a beautiful tribute to them and somewhere which will also have profound meaning for everyone affected by the attack.

“We hope the memorial site will be a place of peace and comfort, standing as a reminder that love is stronger than hate.”

The 22 people killed in the attack after the concert included six children under 16, and the youngest was eight years old.

Bomber Salman Abedi died in the explosion and his brother, Hashem Abedi, was sentenced to at least 55 years in prison for his part in aiding the attack.

A public inquiry into the tragedy is ongoing.

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