Today the whole New Zealand stopped and observed a two minute silence at 12.51pm – the minute the quake stuck Christchurch one week ago today, causing the deaths of 155 (to date) and unbelievable destruction of the city and its infrastructure.
Since that time we have heard many stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
We have seen deep sadness etched on faces of those who have lost family and friends, livelihoods, homes, hopes and dreams. On those same faces we have also seen courage and resolve.
We have cried for our family and friends living with the uncertainty of aftershocks – the earth moving beneath them – and for the families who have lost loved ones.
It has been the foremost in the thoughts of those of us not directly affected. We listen to the news on the radio, watch the search efforts on television and read each word of the stories in our newspapers. Each conversation we have is focused the unimaginable tragedy that hit Christchurch, hit New Zealand.
Throughout all of this horror is an abundance of love and caring. We want to do whatever we can to help. Websites sprang up overnight offering homes, beds, food, clothing, water, and friendship. Planes, ships, trucks, vans and cars from all over the country have loaded up with emergency supplies made their way somehow to the quake stricken city.
We listen to and have huge admiration for Bob Parker – the Mayor of Christchurch – as he speaks beautifully, eloquently and straight from the heart. He must be exhausted …
In the face of all of this destruction – people are keeping hope alive. Hope that just one more survivor might be found, hope that the city can be rebuilt – hope for the future.
I feel so proud to be a New Zealander.