Mayor Andy Burnham conducts anniversary tributes to victims of the Manchester Arena attack

Mayor Andy Burnham is among those paying tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack on the fifth anniversary.

The city is celebrating the anniversary free of corona restrictions for the first time in three years.

Sunday’s commemorations include the ringing of church bells at 10:31 p.m. – the time a bomb went off at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017.

Memorial services are also held at the Glade of Light Memorial next to the Cathedral in the city center.

Meanwhile, more than 20,000 racers applauded the 22 victims before the starting gun of Sunday’s Great Manchester Run.

Freya Lewis with her father Nick before the run (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

Mayor Burnham paid tribute to the victims on Twitter and shared images of the Glade Of Light memorial.

He wrote: “Your names forever in the heart of our city.

“Their families and those affected are always in our thoughts.

“Our thanks for the goodness and strength of the people of Greater Manchester – forever.”

Mr Burnham was also pictured at the Great Manchester Run with survivor Freya Lewis.

He also sported a Manchester “Worker Bee” tattoo on his arm – the city’s symbol.

Ms Lewis, 19, who learned to walk again after multiple injuries, fractures and burns in the bombing, will run for election for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital charity that saved her life.

Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig (left) and Freya Lewis start the event (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

Ms Lewis, who used a wheelchair for three months, and whose best friend Nell Jones, then 14, was killed in the attack, has raised more than £67,000 with her family since the attack.

Ms Lewis, who grew up in Cheshire, told BBC Breakfast on Sunday morning that Manchester “means the world to me”.

She said, “It’s the most incredible city, I will always remember how it came together and welcomed me as a Mancunian, as one of its own.”

She also said she remembers Nell Jones “really in everything I do. She is a very unforgettable person, she was just the most wonderful sister to me and someone who will be with me for the rest of my life.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paid tribute to the victims, saying the courage shown by the people of Manchester in the days after the attack “touched the world”.

He said: “Like the country, my thoughts are with the victims, families and friends of everyone affected by the cowardly attack on the Manchester Arena five years ago today.

The 22 victims of the terrorist attack (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

(PA Media)

“This was an act of terror against the freedoms we all hold dear, but as the people of Manchester demonstrated so bravely over the following days, hate will never prevail.

“The bravery and defiance of the people of Mancun touched the world, and as we remember all those taken from us, we must remember and celebrate this triumph of love and community.”

Union leader Keir Starmer wrote: “Today we commemorate the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing that left thousands injured and 22 innocent people dead.

“My thoughts are with her loved ones and the people of Manchester. Your strength has shown that hate will never win.”

Mayor Andy Burnham shows off his Manchester Worker Bee (symbol of Manchester) tattoo (Martin Rickett / PA)

(PA wire)

Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram also tweeted: “Five years on from the Manchester Arena bombing, the Liverpool City region remains standing with Manchester and everyone affected by the attack.

“Today we will keep the victims and their families – including Liverpool’s Megan Hurley – in our thoughts.”

Half a decade ago, thousands of children and parents enjoyed an Ariana Grande concert at the arena.

Surrounded by a crowd of youngsters leaving the gig, Manchester-born Salman Abedi, 22, detonated his shrapnel-packed backpack bomb, sending thousands of nuts and bolts shredding everything in its path.

Hundreds of others were injured along with the 22 bystanders killed, including six children. Mayor Andy Burnham conducts anniversary tributes to victims of the Manchester Arena attack

Bobby Allyn

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