Comment: Amid carnage come stories of courage

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Friday’s night’s helicopter crash in Glasgow was a dark moment for the city and for Scotland. So far, nine people have lost their lives in The Clutha Vaults by the Clyde, with the painful search for more bodies still continuing.

Many questions linger about the cause of the accident, and it could be months before we have full answers on these.

Amid the carnage are stories of courage that have proved yet again the great spirit of the people of Glasgow and Scotland.

The old adage about firefighters running into a burning building while everyone else is running out was turned on its head on Friday night.

As the disaster unfolded, ordinary people rushed in to help those trapped inside the bar. Other customers who might have simply run to safety stayed and hauled strangers out of the rubble.

This together with the bravery of the emergency services ensured that the loss of life was 
minimised.

And since then many individuals and organisations have pledged financial help and support to those affected, including the possibility of a benefit gig by Esperanza, the band that was playing when the disaster struck.

So what we have learned, if we ever doubted it, is that the spirit of the people of Glasgow is unbreakable. The James Watt Street factory fire, the Ibrox disaster or the Glasgow Airport terrorist attack – in each case ordinary people stood up, their faces blackened and sore, and they reached out to their fellow man.

Edinburgh salutes the spirit of those in our sister city along the M8.

As the well known quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson says: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”