There are so many tales of everyday heroism coming out of the horrific attack on holidaymakers in Tunisia. Bystanders who leapt into action with tablecloths and napkins to bandage the wounded, hotel staff who ran towards the shooting instead of away from it, in a vain bid to protect the sunbathers, ambulance staff who arrived in the thick of the carnage, before the gunman was ‘contained’, and went about their work despite the danger.
And, of course, we are getting the stories of ordinary people, who treated themselves to a holiday, to celebrate a birthday, a recovery from illness, or just another year of hard work completed, and were just relaxing on the beach. Completely unprotected and vulnerable.
How truly sad and awful it is, for everyone who has lost a loved one, or been touched by the atrocity – or simply for the many who will not be able to relax on their own holiday this year, wherever that may be. And, not least, it is a tragedy for Tunisia itself.
We had two holidays in Tunisia with the girls when they were small. Both were ‘resort’ type holidays, which were an easy way of dealing with toddlers. At the time, I felt a little guilty as we never left our hotel complexes – we had not really seen Tunisia at all. From the little we glimpsed on the way to and from the airport, it seemed a very poor country. The hotels were wonderfully lavish, and not hugely expensive for us with our European salaries. I wonder if it is this contrast which partly helped to fuel the gunman’s hatred. Mind you, tourism must keep the country afloat – what will it do now?
Poor Tunisia. I remember the sea being the most beautiful turquoise colour ever. There were jaunty thatched sunshades on the beautiful sandy beaches. And the girls loved it.