Nottingham vigil moved by Harrogate teenager's poignant Paris attacks poem

Izzy Lee at Nottingham vigil
Izzy Lee at Nottingham vigil

Crowds at a Nottingham Vigil for Peace were moved on Monday by a Harrogate teenager as she recited her poignant poem describing the Paris terror attacks.

Former Harrogate Grammar School pupil Izzy Lee's heartfelt poem about the Paris tragedy was seen by thousands when she posted it on Facebook on Sunday.

Izzy Lee's poem on Facebook

Izzy Lee's poem on Facebook

The poem, which stressed the need for humanity over war following the attacks, gained more than 100 likes and was shared 21 times.

And the 18-year-old, who studies Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University, was given the chance to recite her poem to hundreds of spectators when she attended the city's vigil.

The crowds were visibly moved by her poetry, breaking into a round of applause, and Izzy said it was an honour to have the chance to speak at the event.

She said: "I decided to go down to the Nottingham vigil with some of the people on my course. They were talking to people at the event and I also wanted to pay my respects.

"As the vigil was going on, one of my friends said that I had written a poem about what had happened. So they asked if I wanted to read it to everyone.

"I was definitely scared going up there but it felt so good to be able to recite my poetry to everyone and to have such an incredible response."

At least 129 people are known to have died when Islamic State (IS) gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars on Friday, November 13.

Izzy explained that while many of her friends had posted statuses about the devastating attacks, she wanted to do something slightly different to voice her feelings.

She said: "I've always loved poetry and I wanted to use that to move people and get them to realise that we need to raise awareness about what can be done.

"The poem sends out a message of peace and it took me around half an hour to an hour to write. I used to write a lot of poetry when I was younger and I like using words to create something.

"It feels nice knowing that people have been so supportive of my poem. It was amazing seeing people respond to it on Facebook with such positive comments."

Izzy explained how she wanted to use her poem to convey humanity and unity in the wake of the attacks before stressing the importance of words instead of retaliation.

She said: "I wanted the poem to make people come together and raise awareness. We don't have to resort to wars and fighting. We can realise that words can change peoples' attitude.

"I think words can be really powerful, people from the different community centres across the city spoke and they were so passionate about their messages.

"They were putting different views forward from different ethnicities, it was amazing to see these people coming together. You could just tell how much their words meant."