March 19, 2011

Memorial Day

What an interesting two days its been! On Thursday at work there was quite a buzz. Camera people lining the sidewalk, Media tents and satellites set up all along the grass, and inside a usually casual working environment was filled with clacking heels and made up faces. No need to ask why, everyone knew Prince William was going to be making an appearance at the Emergency Centre that day. I'd be lying if I wasn't excited like a giddy school girl, and once he arrived even the guys were giddy school girls. It was like seeing a celebrity, but better.

He was there of course for the Memorial Service at Hagley Park that was going to be happening the next day. Luke and I went there, pulling ourselves out of bed after celebrating St Paddy's day the night before. First they showed a video of unseen images of the central city. It was pretty sobering to see all the damage that had occured. It has been so dangerous up until now to enter the city center that these images were never allowed to be shot in the first place. Then the mayor spoke, Prince William Spoke, and the Prime Minister spoke as well as a few other religious figureheads. In between were some different performances helping to lighten the mood. It was capped off by a video that brought most of the park to tears - showing all the help that has been given since the earthquake, all of the volunteers, search and rescue teams, police and firemen and women. It just made me realize what we have been apart of and been through, something much bigger than I can ever really comprehend.

Once it was over we walked over to the stage to see who we could see. First we saw the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard and we were both a bit star struck. Then we saw on one of the video screens that Prince William was here so we walked around to where we thought he was and we got nice and close, only a few people behind the people who were shaking his hands.

The day was topped off when the Prime Minister of New Zealand walked around and Luke and I met and shook his hand. Luke of course had to have banter with the Prime Minister's wife, after John Key mentioned he liked Luke's Crusaders jersey he was wearing, making a comment that he must not get this much attention at home! She agreed he didn't.

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