On the night of May 22, someone with a deformed soul sought to transform a moment of joy and youthful exuberance and turn it into a moment of everlasting anguish, trauma, darkness and despair.
While he may have cruelly brought the stories of many innocent people to a premature end, and forever marred the lives of others, he was not able to stop the quiet acts of heroism and kindness that occurred in the aftermath.
He was not able to stop the taxi drivers, from taking fearful children, teens and grownups to their homes without charging a fare.
He was not able to stop the National Health Service of Greater Manchester from implementing their well-conceived strategy that was designed for a tragedy which they no doubt prayed they would never have to face.
He was not able to stop the off-duty doctors, nurses, paramedics and police officers from putting on their uniforms and showing up to do their duty.
He was not able to stop residents from opening their doors, living rooms, kitchens and hearts to highly distraught and terrified strangers who could not get to their own homes when the transportation system was shut down.
He was not able to stop the owners and managers of the pubs, restaurants and hotels that offered free shelter and free cups of tea to people who were covered in shock, fear and tears.
He was not able to stop the homeless man who helped comfort the children, adolescents, young adults and parents covered in blood and bearing deep wounds.
He was not able to stop the beacons of light that emanated from the hearts and deeds of the people of Manchester.
Let us pray, Manchester’s citizens, will not let this act of inhumanity, steeped in dark visions for the world and distorted interpretations of faith, stop them from being the great, historic, vibrant, diverse, enterprising, cultural and sporting city that Britain and the rest of the world admires.
As a Cypriot-American with an affection for Britain, I write this with great sadness, for the youngest victim of the carnage, an eight-year old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos, is the second Briton with Cypriot roots to have been murdered in a terror attack against Britain. The first was Aysha Frade, a teacher of Spanish and mother of two. She was one of the victims of the Westminster Truck Attack of March 22, 2017.
Timothy Spyrou, Limassol