We're working from home this afternoon, and we've just seen shots on the midday news from North Hagley Park in Christchurch. On a stunning Christchurch day, thousands of people have streamed into the park for this afternoon's National Memorial Service for the victims of the earthquake on February 22nd.
We don't want to enter into the debate as to whether it's too soon to be holding this service. Accordingly, comments on this thread will be disabled until at least the end of the service. [UPDATE 3PM - comments enabled] It would seem though that the good folk of Christchurch have voted with their feet, put aside their doubts, and gathered to mourn, to remember and to start the journey forward.
Between us, the Inventory whanau knew four people killed on 22 February. A number of family members, friends, staff and contractors have suffered significant property damage, and we will be making a whole round of visits when we head down there tomorrow. We would have loved to have been down there earlier, but that has neither been feasible nor recommended by our Christchurch contacts. We have no idea what is in store for us over the next few days, but we want to help in whatever way we can.
In the meantime, we're going to take some time out over the next couple of hours to give thanks for the lives of the people we knew, and those that we didn't. Christchurch has a huge journey ahead of it; we are of the opinion that today is an important step in that journey.
Arohanui Christchurch; we are with you in spirit today. Kia kaha; kia maia; kia manawanui.