I break from my studies to remember that never-to-be-forgotten moment in New Zealand's history. 12.51p.m. 22 February 2011. They say we always remember where we were and what we were doing in times of such significance. I first heard that Another Big One had hit Christchurch from my Principal, whose husband always has his finger on the pulse, and with family in Christchurch, quickly found out about this unfolding disaster.
We were about to leave for a conference in Rotorua, and listened to the radio on the way down. That's when we found out there had been deaths. This was shocking to hear after we had all patted ourselves on the back about how lucky it had been that no one had died in the earlier September quake.
It was not until we arrived at our accommodation and could see on TV the impossible devastation that had landed on Christchurch, that reality set in. I must admit to bursting in to uncontrollable tears. If this was unbelievable for me, how could it possibly be for those in the thick of it?
Since that time most New Zealanders have done what they can to support the people of Christchurch. After all, they lost so much, not just in terms of lives, but livelihoods and normal life.
As I watched the memorial coverage on TV, I became aware of one aspect I had not considered before today. I did not know that statistically, almost half of the victims of the Christchurch Earthquake were non-New Zealanders.
So today I reflect on how life has changed for their families too, and hope they have been afforded the same support that has wrapped around all New Zealanders affected.
This screen shot comes from the New Zealand Herald today. If you click here you can find the graphic, where each picture links to a small bio to remember each person who lost their lives as a result of this disaster, New Zealanders and not.