As Britons reel from another indiscriminate terror attack on an innocent public venue, it is a stark reminder that a few small individuals choose anger and hate as their inspiration and motivation. The response to their misguided aims must be measured and forceful, but not fall prey to reactionary retaliation that will serve to exacerbate the growing global discord.
In 1941, Sir Winston Churchill uttered the famous words, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” His advice from nearly a century ago during the bleakest days of war-torn London echoes with lessons for today.
The Manchester Arena attack comes at a time when one of Great Britain’s strongest allies has entered its own chaotic term of divisiveness and a return to isolationist policies. However, regardless of the United States’ domestic outlook, America is traditionally a leader beyond borders. It is a country where human suffering is attended to with compassion — no matter if, it is a neighbor struck by a tornado, or an African nation plagued by drought…or a concert arena of young fans devastated by a bomb.
In the wake of the incident in Manchester, it is time to set aside partisan bickering and self-indulgent Tweets. It is time to stand in unity as a larger community than family, town, or country. It is time to engage as a member of the human community, if only to share a thought, prayer, or moment of goodwill to send a message to those who would want to scare us.
The message must be that humanity’s resolve will not cease to exist.
A global community must speak loudly and clearly to those who rain terror on children, on mothers, and fathers. At times of crises, and under the pall of darkness and fear that accompanies each attack, the citizens of every nation must gather in public places, must worship, must demonstrate that we are not afraid to live.
Nineteen wonderful lives were extinguished on Monday night in Manchester. The courses of countless others were changed forever. It will inevitably happen again, on another day and in another city. Rather than close our doors, cancel our concerts, and grit our teeth in lonely fear and isolated anticipation, Monday night’s tragedy cannot be allowed to drive the humanity in us away.
The world continues to revolve and the sun will rise and fall on blue and grey skies both. The best way to fight the scourge that is terrorism and to remember its victims is to stand united and strong…and to LIVE. The moment that any population anywhere on the planet withdraws, the battle will have been lost. Even more importantly, the moment any government deprives any citizen of any civil liberty in the name of safety from terrorism, the victors will cheer behind their masks.
Enjoy each day and every moment and create memories. Do not allow fear to dictate a choice between visiting a park and locking yourself in a dark house. Do not give terror the power to shape government and the future. Never give in. Never.