Morning, afternoon, evening, Peter Dobbie here with news of todays World Have Your Say, on air at 1700 GMT :o)
The reason we’re asking that question is because it’s a year since Madeleine McCann went missing while on a family holiday in Portugal. Madeleine’s parents – Gerry and Kate – have made fresh appeals for information in the run up to that first anniversary. Gerry McCann said they had always hoped they “would not get to this stage”.
His wife said the key message was that Madeleine was still missing, she had been the victim of a “horrific crime” and the perpetrator was “out there”. They told the BBC they kept hope alive because Madeleine was “so important” to them that they would never give up.
The McCanns have put an amazing amount of energy into keeping their campaign alive over the past 12 months – they’re now concentrating on a warning system for missing children. The couple travelled across the continent, appealing for help in finding their daughter.
So far, France and Greece are the only EU countries to have introduced full alert systems along the lines of the American Amber scheme which involves immediate broadcasts on radio and television about missing children and information about possible suspects.
But when does the time come to move on?
Does there come a point when the family of someone who’s missing must accept what’s happened ? Can a family survive the kind of emotional stress that must be involved in losing someone, without saying goodbye. Do they have to assume that the person has died, to safeguard their own emotional wellbeing ? The McCanns have now attained a kind of celebrity, for them, and indeed for anyone else who’s lost a relative, is that celebrity worth it, if it keeps hope alive ? Or, at what time, does hope die, and become something else ? Once we accept that there is no hope, is that when we begin to find comfort ?
Let us know what you think.