Yesterday started with a call from Jill she was worried about me
and organised a visit to the local hospital. I have been poorly for a while and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis . I was treated like Royalty by all the staff and I am now on a course of antibiotics and steroids. The doctors and nurses were superb and when they were told what I was doing in Syracuse there were a few tears. These were trauma nurses and had seen most things. It was then back to the hotel not feeling great for the memorial service .
It was a huge event, when you see 35 memorial scholars all lined up with a rose it brings home the tragedy for the University. Seeing real people in that number That was lost is so visual.
The audience also had badges for all 270 victims of the bombing. They were all remembered and worn by the audience .
There were many speeches and then each scholar said a few words about those who died. It was ended by the two Lockerbie scholars and they spoke about the 11 lost in their town. They spoke with such eloquence it was so powerful.
Our piper Donald played at the end and then we had a short break and a service in the Chapel.
Outside were seats placed where each student had sat on the fate-full night on 21 st Dec 1988. That was hugely impacting on me and each seat had their name.
The service was impressive lots of music more words and we were in the front. Our teamate Brian Asher spoke about the bond from Lockerbie and the plans for the future of the scholarship. His words were inspiring as always and we all sat together dressed up in our uniforms.
Colin the man with the dream, and vision to put this forward in his Police uniform for the last time looked proud. David in his Formal Ambulance uniform and Paul in his formal Fireman’s uniform. Brian was in his suit as rector of Lockerbie Academy and me in my kilt that belonged to my best mate who was killed-climbing 25 years ago.
We were a team and what wonderful teammates.
Outside after the service our Lockerbie Piper from the Scottish Power Band played his tune “Forward “ that he wrote as a local man for the town and the victims. It is powerful as only the pipes can be. Callum is an example of a young man from Lockerbie who will go on to great things.
It was then meet so many relatives , there were ,tears hugs and stories yet all looking forward to the future.
I spoke to so many and was so proud of what they felt towards the Mountain Rescue and SARDA for all we did.
I spoke to many of the students and loved their vision of the future what they wanted to do to change the world. These were just like my team in the RAF and others young folk many of them who inspire you in their plans and open your eyes as only young folk can.
They have the youth and wisdom to make this a better place for the future and I pray the establishment listens to them.
I have never been called “Sir”so much or thanked hugged and told to tell those at home not just the Mountain Rescue Teams the military SAR SARDA and the Army. The families the and relatives are aware of what you did. Many mentioned our families and friends who helped us yet never understood what was happening to us in the years to come with PTSD unknown then .
I presented the University with our shield and it was graciously received .
Again thank you all.