Remembering 22 February 2011


For some this will be a day that they cannot wait to be over, a day that will be forever associated with disaster. For them, shutting 22 February 2011 out of their lives is the overwhelming aim – they have grieved and have moved on. Any reminder is just reopening old wounds.

For some this will be a day spent reflecting on the day, being thankful for what they have and mourning what they have lost. It will be a day when perhaps going to work is not appropriate, but taking time out to be with family, to be with friends is best.

For still others, professionally as geologists, as seismologists, and geophysicists the day might have seemed like a geological nirvana. But it would have been one grossly tempered by the destruction, the loss of lives and livelihoods the personal upheaval and the stress it would have placed on partners and children. It would have also been tempered by a very real need to be professional in the face of unprecedented media and public scrutiny.

For the emergency services, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Civil Defence, Urban Search and Rescue as well as the Army, Navy and Airforce, this would have been the longest day for all the wrong reasons. They will modestly say they were doing their job, and they were, but their bravery and dedication in the face of unrelenting aftershocks, liquefaction and danger from collapsing buildings was immense.

 There were many unsung heroes who helped remove rubble from those that were trapped, who aided complete strangers, the Farmy Army, the Student Volunteer Army and all those other agencies who spent huge hours aiding Christchurch – helping people in time of need.

Whatever you were doing on the day, and where ever you are on this anniversary, take a minute or two to pause and reflect. Talk to loved ones and friends and most of all go easy on yourself.

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