The Clyde flows endlessly under the bridge carrying Scotland and the Scots out into the world beyond……….
BBC Scotland News. Ist February 2006
Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 15:48 GMT
Thousands Cheer on Warship Launch Vigils to Mark 100th Iraq Death
Thousands of people have witnessed the launch of what has been hailed as the UK's most powerful destroyer.
HMS Daring was sent down the slipway into the River Clyde in Glasgow by the Countess of Wessex.
Vigils are due to take place in cities across Scotland to mark the deaths of 100 British soldiers serving in Iraq. The Ministry of Defence said the latest soldier to die in Iraq was Corporal Gordon Alexander Pritchard, 31, from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, who was killed in a blast in Umm Qasr, Basra province on Tuesday.
The ceremony at the BAE Systems shipyard in Scotstoun was also attended by Defence Secretary John Reid.
His death follows that of Allan Douglas, 22, a Lance Corporal in The Highlanders, who died on Monday.
The Type 45 destroyer is the first of six to be built in Glasgow and the Navy claims it will be the most advanced warship in the world.
With a price tag of £605m, the 150m long vessel weighs in at 7,350 tons.
It will officially come into service in 2009.
Each D-class destroyer will have more firepower than the combined fleet of Type 42s.
Defence Secretary John Reid said the 100th death called for a reflection of the contribution British servicemen and women had made to international stability.
People of all ages were represented at the event, with babies in prams, school children and their parents and elderly ship launch veterans among the crowds.
The family of L/Cpl Douglas, who was shot and killed in Maysan province on Monday morning, said he had not wanted to return to Iraq.
A full brass band played as balloons were released and crew members on deck waved as the ship moved into the water.
Diane Douglas told the BBC it was a "damn disgrace" that young people were being killed in Iraq, adding: "I don't think Tony Blair should have put any young kids out there."
About 680 tons of drag chains had to be used to slow down the ship and stop it moving too close to Braehead shopping centre on the south bank of the river, where hundreds more stood watching the launch.
As well as the 100 British soldiers killed, anti-war campaigners said the vigils would also commemorate the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis and the 2,242 US soldiers killed to date in the conflict.
The vessel has been designed to defend UK forces from air attacks and weaponry includes:
1 Flight deck to take Lynx or Merlin combat helicopter
2 Navigation radar
3 Long-range radar monitors air and surface threats
4 Communications mast
5 Small-calibre gun
6 Multi-function radar can guide ship's missiles and detect enemy ones
7 Gunfire control system
8 Vertical-launching system for short- and long-range missiles
9 Medium-calibre main gun
One hundred white flowers will be thrown into the River Clyde in Glasgow at 1800 GMT after the dead are named.
……. Impassively above, the life of the bridge goes on. Journeys are made, hopes, dreams and fears are realized while flowers and warships pass below.
Nae mair will the bonnie callants
Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw,
Nor wee weans frae pit-heid an' clachan
Mourn the ships sailing doon the Broomielaw.
Broken families in lands we've herriet
Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair.
Black and white, ane til ither mairriet
Mak' the vile barracks o' their masters bare.
The Freedom Come-All-Ye
The Freedom Come-All-Ye