Editorial: A week where Moray acutely felt the sadness of the world

Sunday Supplement

Our detailed look back on the stories that we have been talking about in Moray…..

Not since the Moray community mourned the loss of three airman over the Moray Firth two years ago has such a tragic week beset our community.

As a reporter for STV when two Tornado jets collided after leaving RAF Lossiemouth on a routine exercise I was, along with everyone in our very close-knit community, shaken to the core.

Again this week it was with a heavy heart that I had to write reports on the death of Sergeant Peter Wildman MBE, a man who had dedicated his life to serving his country at home and overseas, but ultimately lost his life in a road accident.

With the entire world I looked on with incredulity as Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was brought down, almost certainly by a missile, as it flew on a normal and ‘safe’ international flight path over Eastern Europe.

Then came the news that aboard that flight was another much-loved former Moray airman, Stephen Anderson, who leaves behind many distraught family members in our local community.

In each of these three events questions are being asked over the circumstances that brought about such tragic results.

In the case of the Moray Firth crash a report has been published that almost leaves as many questions as it does answers, leaving family, friends and the wider community still in mourning and still wondering what steps are going to be taken to avoid any similar occurrence.

It is too early to speculate under what circumstances Sgt Wildman’s accident occurred, it is very rare if not unknown for road accidents of that nature to happen within the confines of a military base.

In these cases the investigations will be national and local – but the death of Stephen Anderson and the 297 souls of several nationalities will carry world-wide repercussions, as few on this planet can fail to be touched by the absolute futility of these deaths.

It would be very dangerous indeed to speculate over the cause of this tragedy – but as each snippet of information emerges from the atrocity the claim and counter-claim of those responsible for the internal strife in Ukraine are falling on unbelieving ears the world over.

Conspiracy theories will doubtless abound for years to come, but right now the protagonists in this politically-inspired, stupid, pointless and deadly conflict must be subjected to international pressures never previously witnessed.

Like many ordinary citizens of the world I demand nothing less – it is time for our politicians to earn their crust, stop producing sound bites and begin producing answers.

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