New year wishes and thank you from our President Terry Waite CBE
Christmas is a special time of year for me. In captivity I made three resolutions to myself to support me: no regrets, no false sentimentality, no self-pity. But I won’t ever forget how relieved I was to be released in November, to be back in time for Christmas having missed four in captivity in solitary confinement.
At this time of year as many families join together to celebrate, it is particularly upsetting to think about those in captivity and their families but I want to let them know that Hostage International is there for anyone whose loved ones are held hostage.
Many people will remember the names, John McCarthy, Brian Keenan and Terry Waite. All three of us spent several years as hostages and of course we celebrated Christmas Day as best we could. For most of the time I was kept in solitary confinement and so had to spend Christmas totally alone in a cold dark room. I remember one Christmas lunch; a cold tomato and some flat-bread!
All I could say was that I ought to be thankful that I had something to eat as there were many in the world who had nothing.
I spent one Christmas with other hostages and of course our thoughts were with our families back at home who were doing their best to celebrate despite the difficulties they were facing.
It has long been my belief that the families of hostages suffer just as much, if not more in some cases, than the hostages themselves. That is one of the reasons why I co-founded Hostage UK, now Hostage International.
Hostage International supports the families of those who have been taken captive and can give realistic support, as many who work with the organisation have had experience of either being a hostage or a family member.
This Christmas perhaps you might spare a thought for hostages and their families and friends. We support them as best we can but we can only support them because of you who help us keep afloat! So thank you.
May I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and 2020.