September the 13th is the second anniversary of my brother’s murder at the hands of terrorists. My family and I still mourn for David and there is not a day goes past that we do not think of him. He would have been a grandad to a fine grandson Aidan. He would have been so proud to have bounced the wee lad on his knee. That time has been stolen from him, Aidan and all of us.
David’s humanitarian work in helping his fellow man regardless of creed, colour, race, religion or politics continues to inspire and motivate my work. This second anniversary sees the launch of a schools programme with me travelling the length and breadth of the UK. I have been working with some education experts to produce lesson plans for the schools we visit. I can honestly say it is truly amazing what can be done these days.
Speaking at the National Memorial for Humanitarians at Westminster Abbey in August was a real honour and a privilege. Meeting so many people dedicated to “making a difference”, people like my brother, fellow humanitarian workers. The commitment that these people and organisations show is humbling. People from ACTED, the organisation my brother worked for, travelled from Paris to take part in the Memorial. Spending time with our French friends was a pleasure.
The message for the year ahead is to continue the fight against hatred. We must not allow the hate mongers and terrorists of this world to sow fear, suspicion and hatred in our land. We must also work to encourage the coming together of the many organisations, people and voices lifted up in opposition to hatred.
I will meet many more people, people who will inspire me to continue. I will learn from others who are making a stand for our communities. I will talk with other faiths and again learn more from them, hopefully bringing a better understanding. There will be many more steps on this journey that started with the death of my brother. However, as always he will be with me, beside me.