Sunday, September 04, 2011

One year later

One year ago today, an earthquake struck Christchurch in the small hours of the night. I knew nothing about it at first, and couldn’t figure out why my social media pals were expressing concern about me. I wrote about all that back then.

Of course it turned out that the September quake was a foreshock to the main event, the deadly quake in February of this year. The financial bad news keeps getting worse, both for the country (double the budget deficit originally predicted) and for the survivors (and improvements they made to their homes after 2007 won’t be compensated unless it increased the size of the house, meaning losses of tens of thousands of dollars for some people).

And then there’s the human loss from February, a pain still close to the surface for those who lost loved ones. It will be years before those people—and, indeed, Christchurch and the entire nation—fully recover.

Still, the first anniversary of an event is a turning point for many people, the point at which one starts to move on. It would be easier for the people of the Christchurch region to move on if they weren’t enduring thousands of aftershocks, even today. That, too, will subside some day, hopefully soon.

One year ago today, the whole series of events that have become central to New Zealand began. I think it’s important that we as a nation take time to remember, even as those of us who can try to move on.

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