For those of us who were children at the time, for those of us whose connections with Northern Ireland are tenuous to say the least, it is perhaps difficult to understand what the events today mean for the Northern Irish people.
Watching those listening to David Cameron's statement outside the Guildhall in Derry and their reactions, it seemed clear that his words may go a long way to healing 38 year old wounds. It was slightly odd to see a crowd of republican supporters clapping and cheering the words of a British prime minister. But it was welcome, nonetheless, as a sign of the immense strides which have been taken towards a lasting peace.
Cameron will get a lot of flak from certain quarters for issuing a full and frank apology for the events of Bloody Sunday, but it was something he had to do, and do it in our name. This afternoon it wasn't about him. It was about us as British citizens. And it was about us acknowledging that something went very wrong 38 years ago, and accepting that it was done in the name of the British state. The conclusions of the Saville Report are crystal clear to everyone, and I am glad that David Cameron made no attempt to soften or caveat the conclusions.
But let us not pretend that it was merely a small part of the British armed forces which were at fault that day. We now know that Martin McGuinness was carrying a sub machine gun. Presumably he was carrying it because he was prepared to use it.
Having now heard a full apology from the British Prime Minister for the events of Bloody Sunday, might it not be welcome for the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland to follow suit and apologise for his own part in the events of that day and also for his part in the ensuing conflict? I suspect we might have some time to wait.
Just to finish, I think now though of the hundreds of families whose loved ones were brutally murdered by the IRA. Did they get their own Saville Inquiry? No. Did they get justice? Rarely. Many of those families will be in pieces today, as it is all brought back to them. Like the victims of Bloody Sunday and their families, these families too were innocent bystanders. Yet they can't get 'closure'. And in many cases, they see the murderers of their loved ones walking freely on the streets of Northern Ireland today.
So as well as thinking of the victims of Bloody Sunday and their families, I have many other people in my thoughts too. As I watch live coverage of the speeches of the families speaking outside the Guildhall in Derry, I hope that those gathered there listening can say the same.