Tuesday coming marks the 45th anniversary of one of the most monstrous sectarian atrocities of the long years of the Troubles: the Kingsmills Massacre.
Alan Black, the sole survivor, has described to this paper's political editor, Suzanne Breen, how he was again counting down the days, and then the hours, and then the minutes, to 5.20pm on January 5 - the exact time at which, on that dark winter's evening in 1976, he and his 10 workmates were stopped, lined up against their van and mercilessly gunned down.
Mr Black has carried the horror and the grief with him down all those years.
His life has been forever overshadowed by being witness to the mass murder of his friends. Ten innocent working men targeted solely because they were Protestants.
In the days leading up to that awful night, six innocent Catholic men had been butchered by loyalist murderers.
Kingsmills was the IRA's bloodbath "revenge".
Alan Black is now 77. He says he feels lucky to have lived that long. He says he didn't think he'd live to be 37.
He was shot 18 times and left for dead. He still carries the shrapnel in his body and the memory of his friends in his heart.
The barbarity of their deaths is forever seared in his soul. He still hears their screams. In some ways, he has lived his own life for those young men.
He has battled for the truth to be told about what happened that night - who were the gunmen, who gave the orders?
But that's not all he has done.
This week, Mr Black was awarded the MBE for his "services to the community" in Co Armagh.
That little line of officialese refers to years of cross-community work, including the setting up a local football team which, in his words, is all about bringing young people together. He has dedicated his MBE to "the boys" and also to those friends, Catholic and Protestant, who have helped him in his cross-community work and in setting up the team.
Alan Black is one of the true heroes of the Troubles. And there are many, many others like him.
Those who carry the haunting, hellish burden of what they witnessed and what they survived, but who remain determined to rise above sectarian hatred. These are the men and women who, in history, will tower above the perpetrators of evil.
Almost 4,000 people were killed during the Troubles. There are an awful lot of murderers still walking around in our midst.
How many of them, you wonder, are haunted still by what they did?
Because there must be some, surely?
However hard they try to convince themselves it was for some cause, there must be dark moments when they know in their hearts that it was just tribal sectarian butchery.
How do they live with themselves? Any of them?
They perpetuate the myth that their so-called "war" was justifiable. They talk in generalities about that "war" about their "operations", prison escapes, active service.
All these militaristic terms masking the bloody reality. The inhumanity.
They don't talk in specifics. They don't admit to the sectarian massacre. They skip over the slaughter. They justify it as a "campaign"; they even romanticise it.
And then they pass this blood-encrusted lie down to a new generation who, having no understanding of the savagery and suffering inflicted upon innocent men, women and children, mindlessly chant, "Ooh, ah, up the 'Ra", or pump their fists in the air as they sing about loyalist murder gangs being "simply the best".
And that, as much as the horror of our past, should haunt us all.
This time last year, I was writing in very upbeat terms about what lay ahead. A new year. A new decade. Bring it on!
We would leave all that wrangling about Brexit behind. Look how well that turned out.
So, I'll forgo the cheery predictions for this year, while still wishing for a happy and healthy one for all.
We have to hope that 2021 turns out to be way better for everyone than appalling 2020.
It's hard to imagine how it could be worse.
Cautionary advice this week from Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam.
He urges vaccinated pensioners not to "act with wild abandon and go off to the bingo halls". Wild abandon, eh? I've never been inside a bingo hall myself, but suddenly they sound like the exhilarating place to be. That aside - a reminder for Mr Van-Tam - surely bingo halls are currently closed (aren't they?).
So, all those freshly vaccinated elderly hedonists don't even have that outlet in which to exercise their wild abandon.
Bizarre story from the US - or should that be Spain? Hilaria Baldwin, wife of Trump impersonator Alec, has been accused of her own bit of role-playing. Hilaria, who sometimes has a Spanish accent and once had difficulty remembering the English word "cucumber" on TV, was generally assumed to be from Spain. Turns out, she's actually Hillary from Boston. She insists, though, that she has spent much time in Espana. She says the cucumber incident was just a "brainf**t". Perhaps a senorita moment?