Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We Will Remember

At 3.45pm on the 19th of November, in the small New Zealand town of Greymouth, news of a coal mine explosion swept our little country. 29 of our men were trapped 2.3 kilometres underground somewhere in the 7 kilometre long mine. For 6 days people tried endlessly to drill into the mine, to try to rescue our men. Hope was not lost that these men were alive. That they would be rescued. That we would be able to bring them back to their homes, their families, their lives. On the 24th of November at 2.37pm that all changes. And the hope of getting the men out alive was crushed. A second explosion occurred. There was no way that the men could have survived it. In the following 4 days two more explosions hit the mine, and flames and smoke continue to billow from the entrance. 29 men lost their lives, and 29 families lost their fathers, their sons, or perhaps their brothers.

Today, my little country mourns for the men that were lost. We mourn for the fathers and for the sons. We mourn for the uncles and the brothers. We mourn for the friends that those men had become to so many. Today, we feel for the families that have had to say goodbye to their loved ones, and try to come to terms with the fact that there may be no way to recover the bodies of their families. A remembrance service is about to commence in greymouth, and a nationwide 2 minutes of silence will be observed at 2pm. And while I didnt know any of the men personally, or any of their families, or their stories, I still feel the sadness, albeit on a scale that pails in comparisions to the greymouth community, that comes with the loss of life. The sobering reality that life is precious, and that it can end so quickly. One thing is for certain, the men who lost their lives will never be forgotten by this country.

Its situations like this that makes you realise that those little petty things that get you down in life, really don’t matter that much. That this life is so precious, and that more than anything, it can be taken away in the blink of an eye. It makes me realise that telling the people that I love, that I indeed, do love them, is one of the most important things that I can do. That showing affection and kindness, empathy and sincerity is more important than being popular or cool. That this could all be over so much sooner than anyone thinks, and that tomorrow should never be taken for granted.