No one can have failed to be shocked and affected by the awful air crash at the Shoreham Air Show.
The news spread far and wide fast. I first heard about it while on a walk getting a text from our son in Sweden asking if we were safe! This is the reality, that accidents of this nature are completely indiscriminate in their results. All those individuals who died just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And there but for the grace of God go any of us, which is why the shock has touched everyone who has heard about it. Because of the location, because of the nature of the event it was witnessed by a considerable number of people. Because of modern technology we are bombarded by so many images and eye witness reports. Through radio, TV and the internet we are constantly exposed to and cannot escape from constant replays of the tragedy. I would certainly wish to question some people’s judgement over some of the pictures and videos that have been posted as they can seek to prolong the pain and agony of those involved in the event, and bring further trauma to those who directly affected by the incident. It is also a sign that faith still exists in our nation’s psyche that so many of the statements made by prominent figures assures the victims’ families and friends of their prayers. It is the sheer helplessness that you feel that there is nothing you can do to help those affected. It is why after such events shrines quickly develop of people’s offerings of flowers or small cards with thoughts of condolence and expressions of sadness. Occasionally one hears of those who would wish to prevent such practice, which I consider would be a mistake. People need to be able to express themselves in appropriate ways and these makeshift shrines are one such legitimate means. It is sadly a reminder to all of us of the frailty of life. In a very public way a significant number of people’s lives have been changed in the twinkling of an eye. In a split second some people’s lives have been brought to an end and others have been significantly marked emotionally and in some cases physically. It is right and proper to have a time of sad reflection and to be alongside one another in sharing in our grief. And then let us resolve to do what we can to move on from here with a renewed appreciation for the value of life and to do all that we can to ensure that each moment we have is treasured and precious and used to make this world a better place.