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Kiwi’s show strength on country’s “darkest day”Wed Feb 23 2011 06:00:00 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
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The country may have faced its “darkest day”, but New Zealanders have shown a strength and spirit that will help them endure the difficult days ahead in the wake of the Canterbury earthquake.
Emergency personnel weren’t the only people risking their lives to help others in Christchurch – residents and workers who were caught up in the disaster showed their bravery by assisting those around them.
One man who spent the night helping where he could with two friends said the city is like a war zone.
“We’ve seen dead bodies on the street.”
A Civil Defence volunteer, he plans to spend today doing whatever is asked of him.
As the scenes unfolded on TV we witnessed people being carried out of buildings on make-shift stretchers, over shoulders and by piggy back. When overstretched ambulance workers were unable to meet demands, residents shuttled the injured by car. When people were unable to offer physical help they gave words of support.
As the buildings collapsed around them the pictures showed people hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm making sure others got to safety. In their greatest time of need they held on to each other for mutual support and it is this spirit of togetherness and strength that Kiwis around the country and the world are showing for each other today.
Mayor Bob Parker has been inundated with offers of help. There will be plenty for people to do in the days and weeks to come, he says, but right now people need to look after their own families and neighbours.
“Look after each other. Take the time to focus on people in your community.”