On Manchester Attack Anniversary, Songs and Silence

At exactly 10:31 p.m., a year to the minute after the bombing, church bells will toll across the city center.

The authorities have also planted 28 Japanese maple trees along what they called the Tree of Hope Trail, where people may leave messages to be kept in an archive chronicling Manchester’s response to the attack.

The bombing came midway through a series of attacks from March to June, most of them in London, adding Britain to the list of European countries struck by Islamist militants. On two occasions, assailants in vehicles rammed pedestrians on bridges across the River Thames in London, deepening a sense of vulnerability.

On Manchester Attack Anniversary, Songs and Silence
On Manchester Attack Anniversary, Songs and Silence

With memories of suicide attacks and other assaults since 52 people died in a coordinated onslaught against the London transit system in 2005, many Britons have been forced to live with the threat of terrorism, even as officials assert that many more planned attacks have been thwarted. But some officials detect a more nuanced shift in the perceptions of hazard.

“Manchester has changed,” the city’s mayor, Andy Burnham, said on BBC radio on Tuesday. “We’re stronger and more together and there is a palpable sense of community spirit. But underneath the scars are very real and deep. We’re a city in recovery.”

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