Submitted by: Katie White
This isn’t my story, but I wanted to take a minute to pay tribute to the hundreds of urban search and rescue staff from a variety of countries that have been working non-stop in Christchurch New Zealand. These people have worked tirelessly for long hours in a desperate bid to find survivors buried in the rubble of a broken city and have seen sights that I suspect some of them will never get out of their minds.
Christchurch has so many stories of heroes coming out of the past 11 days. Some of the most admirable are the “everyday” people who, immediately after their world literally fell apart, jumped into incredibly dangerous situations in an attempt to save others. But there are also other heroes – the person who coordinated a baking effort to be sure that the rescue teams and welfare centres were well stocked with food; the communities that have pulled together to literally dig themselves out when the ground around them turned to liquid; the bands of volunteers that just show up with shovels to help anyone who needs it; the people who have taken strangers into their homes when they were left homeless last week.
Crises bring out the best and the worst of people. I would say, despite all the loss of life, and the destruction of a beautiful city, I think we’re just beginning to see the good things that will come out Christchurch. My thoughts go out to all the people of Christchurch, Cantebury, and across New Zealand and I hope that the men and women who’ve worked so hard to find survivors, and recover the bodies of victims of the earthquake can feel the support that is being sent to them by people all over the world.