PEOPLE gathered in Manchester's Albert Square on a sunny and warm Tuesday evening were testament to the strong sense of purpose that nobody and nothing could divide this proud city.

They were there to give thanks that while their children and friends had survived or escaped the latest act of terror visited upon us, there were families out there who mourning their early loss of young lives for the remainder of their days.

The greatest comfort to the bereaved was in the numbers of young people who streamed into the area from all over Manchester, to join the estimated 25,000 people, who wanted to offer up not just silent contemplation but to underline the strong sense of togetherness this city feels for it brothers and sisters, no matter where in the world they come from.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker, said despite the fact that some of the victims of the bomb attack came from outside of the city: "would be forever Manchester".

He was joined in his praise by the Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins who said: "Last night, in the most atrocious circumstances, the people of Greater Manchester showed the world how much we care."

Dignitaries and celebrities gathered in the square included Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib-Dem leader Tim Farron, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, the new mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, the Lord Mayor of Manchester Eddy Newman and former cricketer Andrew Flintoff.

However, it was left to poet Tony Walsh to sum up why Manchester is special in a poem This Is The Place, which included the lines: "Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that's part of our bones.

"Because Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back."