America woke today to the headline news of wildfires ravaging four Western states, with scores of homes and cabins lost, and many more menaced by flames.
But also in the news was the horrific bombing of the capital of Thailand, Bangkok. Of more horrendous, unspeakable sights of victims blown apart by the force of the blast – people, many of them tourists, praying at the Temple for divine guidance for the future. Parents of so many United States and European youngsters worried out of their minds in case anything should happen to them on their holidays as they gain experience of the world.
But as the Embassies compile their lists of those dead and wounded in the atrocity, at home, across four States, the Emergency Services of the United States were coordinating the 911 calls for help.
Thousands of acres have been consumed. But the courage of the helicopter crews and those on the flight decks of the planes battling the fierce fires have been resilient and vigilant in their efforts as tons of water are dropped from the skies.
Throughout the world it is our Emergency Department Doctors and Nurses, and the ambulance paramedics, who help save lives.
There were scenes yesterday in Bangkok of emergency personnel almost overwhelmed by the immensity of the terrorist blast that had caused so much carnage. With the death toll still rising, the surgeons are striving to safe life. The yellow flash of the bomb going off was enough. But the blast wave caused even more damage. People had been torn from limb to limb. Some were already dead on arrival at the hospital. Others had rupturing lung injuries from the blast, their insides torn by shock wave.
Eyewitness accounts from BBC and Voice of America staff whose offices were nearby were horrendous in the detail. An electronic timer board had even been found.
One BBC IT specialist, running to the scene from his studios with colleagues, had grabbed a trauma pack to help those he could. He told graphically of seeing one body cut in two, as he gave CPR to another wounded victim.
“Stemming the blood had been his main concern”, he told his BBC headquarters in London, as his news crew colleagues did the reporting, the cameramen and women doing their duty in recording every scene of the horror.
Such scenes of brutality, it was another attempt at death beyond limit.
Nine-Eleven, Madrid, Bali, Kenya, all that can be sure is the response of our doctors and nurses everywhere.
It was another day unfolding as we all cope with the news of the hour. Headline news. Dealing with adversity in the world.
International news correspondent Graham Bardgett has reported for the BBC in London and Belfast and for UK national newspapers, the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Sunday Express, and Financial Times, becoming a Veteran reporter of the Northern Ireland Conflict and Peace Process. He reported the Enniskillen Poppy Day Remembrance Day bombing and other atrocities, as well as the good news stories that came out of Northern Ireland. He later worked in the British Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence, working for the Second Sea Lord, the Lord Chancellor, and the Commander in Chief FLEET.