TODAY marks the tragic three-year anniversary since 22 innocent lives were lost on May 22, 2017, at the Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.
Family and friends of victims as young as eight have paid tributes to their loved ones since the attack that rocked the nation.
What happened in the Manchester terrorist attack?
A bomb exploded in the foyer of Manchester Arena moments after US pop star Ariana Grande left the stage on May 22, 2017.
Witnesses told how nuts and bolts were sent flying in the blast as fans made their way to Manchester Victoria train station next door to the concert venue.
According to BBC, at least 50 fans were injured and 23 people died, including the bomber.
About 14,000 people were at the Arena on the night of the bombing.
More than 3,500 people have now accessed psychological support in the wake of the attack, with 400 coming forward in the past 12 months.
Martin Hibbert was thought to be the closest to the blast to survive but has had a long road to recovery.
The fanatic responsible for the horror was identified as Manchester-born Salman Abedi, 22.
Nearby hotels opened their doors to help people and a help centre has been set up by the police for anyone who was lost or injured.
Taxi drivers came out to work for free, to give people a lift home.
Who were the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack?
Among those killed were an off-duty police officer, a brave aunt who shielded her 11-year-old niece from the nail-bomb blast and a number of innocent teens.
The atrocity also claimed the lives of several parents who were waiting in the foyer of the venue.
- Saffie Rose Roussos, eight, was the youngest victim. She was killed after becoming separated from her mum and sister at the venue.
- Martyn Hett, 29, a Coronation Street superfan with a tattoo of Deirdre Barlow, was due to go on a two month “trip of a lifetime” to America.
- Georgina Callander, 18, met Ariana Grande backstage at a previous gig and was the first young person to be confirmed dead – she died in hospital with her mum by her side and was described as a girl who “lit up the room”.
- Olivia Campbell, 15, brought Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid to tears when her mum Charlotte appealed for information on her whereabouts.
- Elaine McIver, 43, an off-duty police officer, lost her life in the terror attack – her husband and children sustained injuries from the blast.
- John Atkinson, 26, from Radcliffe, was the third person to be formally confirmed as dead. He was described as an "amazing young man" with a "beautiful soul".
- Kelly Brewster, 32, from Sheffield, died trying to shield her 11-year-old niece. A pal said: “She ran to shield Hollie from the blast as best she could. She threw herself in front of her."
- Alison Lowe, 44, and friend Lisa Lees, 43, were killed when they arrived to pick up their teenage daughters – who were later found safe.
- Marcin Kils, 42, and Angelika Kils, 39, were killed as they waited for their daughters Patricia and Alex who were not hurt in the attack.
- Nell Jones, 14, was confirmed dead after her family spent 36 hours searching the city's hospitals for her.
- Jane Tweedle-Taylor, 50, from Blackpool, was killed as she arrived to collect a friend's daughter from the concert.
- Michelle Kiss, 45, from Blackburn, attended the concert with her daughter.
- Sorrell Leczkowski, 14, died with her mum and grandmother at her side.
- Chloe Rutherford, 17, and Liam Curry, 19, a couple from South Shields, were remembered in a heartbreaking joint tribute from their families after being named: "They were perfect in every way for each other and were meant to be."
- Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was confirmed dead by her parents after days of frantic searching – her pal Laura MacIntyre, 15, was found alive, but was treated for serious burns.
- Wendy Fawell, 50, a mum from Leeds, was picking up her children with a friend when the blast hit – she was confirmed dead after a desperate appeal to find her.
- Courtney Boyle, 19, and her stepdad Philip Tron, 32, were also the subject of a Facebook appeal for information lasting several days, before it was confirmed they had lost their lives.
- Megan Hurley, 15, was the final victim to be named – the Liverpool schoolgirl's brother sustained serious injuries in the blast.
What happened at the inquest?
Inquests for the 22 people who lost their lives in June were set to take place on November 24, 2017, but were put back until 2018 as criminal investigators continued to gather evidence.
And then in October 2018 coroner Sir John Saunders said it would be another 12 months before the inquests would be held.
The delay was caused because they cannot be held before the conclusion of any criminal investigation and possible trial.
However, in a pre-inquest review in September last year coroner Sir John Saunders said the inquests into the deaths of the 22 victims would be adjourned as some evidence would have to be kept secret for national security reasons.
The secret material related to whether security services could have stopped the attack, and the ruling was issued after Sir John granted applications by the Home Office and police for public interest immunity.
Instead, Sir John said a public inquiry should be held into the deaths, which Home Secretary Priti Patel established in October.
However this has been suspended until September as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
What is being done to mark the anniversary?
Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, public memorials could not go ahead.
Instead, Manchester Cathedral held a memorial on Facebook earlier today, led by the Dean of Manchester.
Another live-streamed service will be held on social media at 4.30pm.
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