Gibraltar falls silent for Manchester
Gibraltar fell silent yesterday in unison with the United Kingdom as a mark of respect for the victims of the Manchester Arena atrocity and their families.
Shortly before the clock struck 12 noon, the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo made the short walk from No.6 Convent Place to join the Governor, Lieutenant General Edward Davis, outside The Convent where the two men stood side-by-side and led a minute’s silence.
A host of Government ministers joined staff outside No.6 to remember the 22 victims of Monday evening’s terror attack.
Mr Picardo later told the Chronicle: “At 11am United Kingdom time and at therefore midday Gibraltar time, all of the UK and Gibraltar fell silent in order to honour the memory of those children and others who have died in the devastating terrorist attack.”
He described the bombing as “…an act of senseless murder that some commit pretending to be doing something to support a religion. But nothing could be stupider, nothing could be more disgusting and I think people stand together to honour the memory, and I emphasise in this case, the memory of those children that have been killed.”
In the United Kingdom, crowds gathered at well-known sites including London's Parliament and Trafalgar Squares, and Manchester's Albert Square.
At 11am thousands of people across the country bowed their heads for a minute of sombre contemplation, as investigations into the network behind the attack continued.
The square in Manchester has become a focal point over the last couple of days, with people laying flowers in the centre and coming together for vigils.
Hundreds of people gathered outside Greater Manchester Police headquarters for the minute of silence, with crowds pouring out of nearby buildings to join the officers.
Police officers stationed at suicide bomber Salman Abedi's last known address paused their duties to observe the minute's silence.
Uniformed officers guarding the cordon still in place in Elsmore Road, Fallowfield, removed their caps and helmets at 11am and stood facing away from the property.
Their colleagues in forensic examination suits came out of the semi-detached property to join them in the sweltering sunshine.
Other police forces across the country joined in the act of remembrance - flying flags at half-mast, and gathering outside headquarters in a show of solidarity.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins asked those gathered to spend a minute "reflecting" on the events of Monday night.
“Particularly remembering the families of those 22 victims who perished in that terrorist atrocity that we saw here in our great city.”
“I'd like you to also think about those that still lie in our hospitals, some very critically injured. Think of them and their families,” he said.
He also asked people to reflect on the "great work" of all the emergency services in responding to the attack, hailing their "true professionalism".
He thanked everyone for attending and "showing the community strength that exists" in the area, adding that it sends a message to victims' families that "we are standing here with them".
The silence at GMP HQ began and ended with a whistle, with the crowds applauding before they walked back to their offices.
Outside the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, where medics fought through the night to save victims, staff stood together for a moment's silence before breaking into spontaneous applause.
Inside, doctors and nurses paused their duties and stood on balconies overlooking the main reception.
The Queen arrived at the scene minutes later to visit those injured in the attack.
Other acts of remembrance across the UK included court proceedings being paused with judges, jurors, lawyers and defendants standing in silence as a mark of respect.
Council workers gathered on the steps of South Shields Town Hall for the minute's silence.
Dozens of them joined local people out shopping for the tribute to the dead, including teenagers Liam Curry and his girlfriend Chloe Rutherford.
At the end of the silence, Mayor Olive Punchion carried a large floral tribute and placed it alongside others left by locals in front of the town hall.
One note read: "We never met. Our loss."