Yesterday was St Andrew's Day - the Patron Saint of Scotland. It is not an enormously well celebrated event and it often goes unmarked by many Scots' including me. However, this year it has been marked by a tragedy. A Police Scotland helicopter came down on a well know Glasgow pub on the banks of the River Clyde called The Clutha Bar, or Clutha Vaults, as it was known.
The news coverage has been harrowing over the past two days. At the same time the courage and willingness of ordinary Glaswegians to help has been truly humbling in how they reacted at the incident and in the aftermath. This has included those in the bar listening to the band who turned into impromptu rescuers, a taxi firm offering a free service to the families of the injured to ferry them to the hospital if they have no transport, a nearby hotel acting as a casualty clearing station and rest centre and off-duty healthcare staff identifying themselves to assist with the initial care and support of the injured until the emergency services arrived and were able to take over.
Touching also were the reports of a Scottish Minister, Jim Murphy, who appears to have been passing and waded in to assist with no pomp or ceremony. Sadly, it is all too rare to hear of politicians who are willing to simply roll up their sleeves and assist without glory seeking.
These everyday heroes demonstrated the inherent kindness that I associate with the good people of Glasgow who don't think twice about helping a neighbour or stranger. Thoughts and prayers are with all those injured, bereaved or affected and the emergency and healthcare professionals involved.