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To think we are becoming overly publicly sentimental over Shoreham air crash bridge

(46 Posts)
MrsRossPoldark Fri 16-Oct-15 07:50:29

More of a general one but specifically in relation to the ribboned bridge tribute to the Shoreham air crash.

Have we become so obsessed with competing for the most public display of empathy, that we have lost any sense that actually, we don't know the people involved in the tragedy? So much so, that the council have been branded 'heartless' for wanting to remove the ribbons from the road bridge.

Yes it was awful, and yes, I feel for the bereaved, but they aren't the relatives of most of the people tying ribbons, the bridge has nothing to do with the rest of us and it was weeks ago now, so can't we stop pretending that we are empathising with those who were bereaved in such a shocking way. Why do we feel the need to continually berate those who are branded heartless for not empathising in public sufficiently. Surely, by keeping this roadside shrine, all we are doing is reminding the bereaved every day and thus not allowing them to grieve in their own way and we are not helping them to move on.

Ultimately, aren't we being selfish as it makes us feel good to be empathising publicly and that lets us off facing the fact that there are families involved directly who don't need another public ribbon. We feel for them, they know we aren't heartless, but we shouldn't need to feel that by not publicly empathising, we are, by default, being heartless?

Jaxsbum Fri 16-Oct-15 07:55:29

perhaps you should check your facts.

or should the bereaved families just go away so they don't offend you?there are still no answers as to why this happened.
its horrid driving by where it happened.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 16-Oct-15 07:57:33

FFS it is a sad day when people can't show sympathy and care when strangers die. I'm pretty sure everyone who lays flowers isn't doing it for attention or praise but to show the bereaved strangers care in the only way they know how.

JeffsanArsehole Fri 16-Oct-15 07:57:40

There were hundreds (if not thousands) of people directly touched by the tragedy, like he school friends/teachers/community of the children that died.

I'd assume that most of the ribbons being tied were by people who weren't direct family but knew the deceased.

And I don't think it's ok to tell people how to grieve.

I'm not sure why you would think they are all going to be strangers to the deceased?

Goingtobeawesome Fri 16-Oct-15 07:59:43

Now I've read the whole of your post I think you are being really really out of order angry

Do you also have a problem with lasting memorials? The 7/7 victims, the people who died at Hillsborough and Bradford City, Lockerbie, etc etc etc, should they be forgotten?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 16-Oct-15 08:02:18

I think yanbu. I don't think the use of ribbons in this way is a fitting choice for the location.

The bridge is over an estuary that is home to many seabirds, these ribbons are blowing off and could potentially be a hazard to the birds.

That view may not be popular but as a local, and frequent user of that bridge, I think there are other ways of remembering those that sadly lost their lives without creating litter which could be a hazard to local wildlife.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 16-Oct-15 08:08:31

On the contrary op, I think that in an age where we are suffering the loss of the sense of community in British society, it is heart warming that the community so badly affected wishes to come together in solidarity for those who lost their lives and their loved ones.

I actually cried when I read the story about the family who said they owed their lives to the wedding chauffeur who let them out of the junction just before the plane crashed. Imagine the contrasting fortunes of those people. Had my son and husband been saved due to one act of kindness by a stranger, I think I'd want a physical act of remembrance.

The community still want it, the families still want it. If it's still there in a year you might have a point but they've said it will remain in place until the memorial service? Or do you think the memorial service is wrong too?

RealityCheque Fri 16-Oct-15 08:11:39

I agree with OP

See also the mass hysteria on here and elsewhere about immigrants migrants asylum seekers refugees a month ago.

Now that the furore has died down all the sheeple have moved onto the next bandwagon.

Sad, but welcome the the fuckwit Facebook generation folks.

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou Fri 16-Oct-15 08:20:33

Having come round a corner on a busy road and having to swerve because some idiot that had no business being there was stood tying ribbons to the tree their drunken teenager had hit, I agree to a degree.

I saw 2 more cars have to swerve in my mirror.

I've always said to my family that if I am killed in an accident that I'd rather they didn't remember the place where I died in pain and misery, but remember the places I had fun and enjoyed - put a ribbon on a tree by the lake I used to walk the dog round, not on the road where I burnt to death......

MrsRossPoldark Fri 16-Oct-15 08:21:08

Crikey - now I'm being heartless myself? Nope. Of course I feel for those who are bereaved, and don't object to permanent memorials to tragedies like this. I'm objecting to the treatment of those in authority and those who aren't involved who are being misconstrued as nasty and spiteful when we are being rational at a very emotional time.

I am pointing out that the council aren't being heartless to want to take the ribbons down as they may decide to put up a permanent memorial somewhere if people want it. We don't need to be individually public about an event like this and there's no need to berate someone who doesn't 'join in' publicly but chooses to empathise in private. At the moment, I'm sure the council are thinking of public safety as maybe they feel it's distracting drivers with the colourful display and ribbons coming off, which could cause accidents, so I am sure they are thinking of community safety, so don't need to be branded as heartless. A permanent memorial may be appropriate but it needs to be thought through and this memorial needs to come down at some point, and as far as the council is concerned, the time seems to be now. There must have been some emotional scenes in the council room before they came to that decision so don't berate them for making a difficult choice.

Jaxsbum Fri 16-Oct-15 08:23:31

so I take it you live near there?? or know people who were involved?(thank god I didn't)
odd. but I hadn't heard anything about the ribbons until you the OP posted about it. had to google

MrsRossPoldark Fri 16-Oct-15 08:23:41

Cross post - didn't realise it was over an estuary (media don't tell you that bit), but same point applies equally to wildlife being adversely affected.

Jaxsbum Fri 16-Oct-15 08:30:01

so you don't even know where it is......yet you start a thread having a dig. priceless

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 16-Oct-15 08:33:44

The impact on wildlife is a valid point. But the premise of your original argument is basically about the public show of sympathy op. I think the council's response in the article posted by Jaxsbum seems appropriate and considerate in the circumstances.

MABS Fri 16-Oct-15 08:45:52

I saw the crash from my garden and am very close to the area sad drive the road every day. The tributes are beautiful to see.

MrsRossPoldark Fri 16-Oct-15 08:54:46

Jaxbum: so now I have to actually go there or live within a specified distance from the spot, in order to justify an opinion? Let me pack my bags & go to the exact spot in NY before I speak out against terrorism, and fit in a pilgrimage to Hillsborough before I cry for changes to safety procedures.

MrsRossPoldark Fri 16-Oct-15 09:00:46

Going back to the news article jaxbum refers to - when is anyone 'sufficiently grieved' to say that the time is right to take the ribbons down. Some will never ever get over this, so someone has to put a rational head on (in this case, the council) & make decisions, without being swayed by emotion. That's the point of committees & authorities. They aren't telling people not to grieve, but to consider the wider community.

Jaxsbum Fri 16-Oct-15 09:05:15

yeah cos the busy road and air port is so pretty and quiet.
it only happened a few weeks ago, could understand you if it was months.
the families still have no answers as to why it happened.

GiddyOnZackHunt Fri 16-Oct-15 09:05:47

Reminding the bereaved every day? Do you think they sometimes forget then?

GruntledOne Fri 16-Oct-15 09:08:22

YANBU. This has uncomfortable echoes of the mass hysteria around Princess Diana's death. I fully understand that friends and relatives may wish to leave a memorial, but given that there are apparently around 8000 ribbons it's unlikely that they are responsible for all of them. What makes me particularly uncomfortable is the fact that people respond in this way to high profile cases where a bandwagon effect has started, but are nowhere to be seen the rest of the time. And is a bunch of increasingly tattered, grubby pieces of cloth left by strangers really the best memorial?

MrsRossPoldark Fri 16-Oct-15 09:16:04

Giddyinzackhunt: do grow up. I didn't say they sometimes forget but they do need to move on at some point and it isn't easy but someone (in this case, the council) has to step in and be rational because as grieving relatives they simply can't.

GiddyOnZackHunt Fri 16-Oct-15 09:19:30


GruntledOne Fri 16-Oct-15 09:24:25

Jaxs, tying ribbons isn't going to give the family answers about why the crash happened. It needs proper, careful investigation, particularly if there is any possibility of criminal charges being brought.

HMF1 Fri 16-Oct-15 09:26:09

I think if it helps people grieve after a shocking event then it is a good thing. Last year a close colleague was killed in a very sudden way just before Christmas in the runaway bin lorry crash in Glasgow. I laid some flowers in the square near where it happened. I have never done anything remotely like that before but at the time it was just a quiet way to acknowledge the loss of someone I knew well but who my friends & family didn't. I don't see what the issue is.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 16-Oct-15 09:29:36

I'm fairly sure that the bereaved won't be wandering around having forgotten. It's far more likely that it'll always be on their minds, and seeing the ribbons (or even just knowing they are there) will bring a small comfort. It reminds them that other people care too, and that the world hasn't just carried on as normal.

It's not quite as simple as telling someone who lost a loved one that they are having an emotional response but you are being the rational one, and therefore your opinion goes.

Did you even think through "They aren't telling people not to grieve, but to consider the wider community." before you wrote it? They'd have no right to tell them not to grieve, in the first place, but asking them to think about other people is coming very close to saying "alright, we've given you some time, now get over it."

I think most people can empathise with what it would be like to lose someone in an accident like that, but you don't seem to be. Are you overriding your emotional response with the one that you've deemed more rational, or do you not have any emotional response to this at all? Can you imagine how it'd feel to be told that essentially, everyone else is moving on now?

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