It is said that it is not tragedy that defines people, it is how they respond to it

IT'S hard to find the right words for what I want to say here this week.

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The last few days have been sad beyond measure for our city. The dreadful accident that happened on Friday night when a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha pub will be vivid in our memories for a long time to come.

As I write this, I know I will not be the only one still struggling to come to terms with the enormity of what happened to people as they did one of the most ordinary things imaginable - enjoy a drink with friends on a Friday night.

Our thoughts and condolences are first and foremost with the families and friends of those who died.

It is simply not possible to imagine the shock, grief and sense of loss that they are feeling, but I hope the knowledge that everyone across the city - and indeed the country - is thinking of them, and wanting to support them, will be of some comfort in the dark days ahead.

Those who are injured will also need love and support.

I was able to speak to two of the survivors when I visited Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Sunday. Their physical injuries were, thankfully, not life-threatening but the psychological impact of what they experienced on Friday night will, I am sure, take much longer to heal.

The work of the emergency services also can't be praised highly enough.

I witnessed first hand on Saturday afternoon when I visited the scene, the skill, determination and professionalism they bring to the jobs they do.

THE police, fire and rescue, and ambulance services have been simply outstanding.

Their work to remove the helicopter and recover victims from the scene has not been without risk to themselves. They put their own lives on the line to serve others and we owe them enormous gratitude.

The police officers who have worked at the scene over the weekend deserve particular mention.

Being on duty at the scene of a major incident can't be easy in any circumstances, but when it is an incident that has claimed the lives of some of your own colleagues, it must be unimaginably worse.

So there is no doubting the sadness that engulfs the city.

But it is matched by an enormous sense of pride in how people have responded.

It is often said that it is not tragedy that defines people - it is how they respond to tragedy. There is no doubt that, over these last few days, Glasgow and her people have risen to the challenge.

From the brave passers-by who helped at the scene, to the folk who queued up to give blood on Saturday, and the NHS staff who reported for work even though they weren't on duty, Glasgow has excelled itself.

In the worst of circumstances, we have seen the best of this city. I can honestly say I have never felt as proud to live in Glasgow as I do now.

Transport Tragedy

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            Michelle McManus            

Michelle McManus


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