Deputy Prime Minister Bill English spoke at the Wellington vigil for the Christhcurcfh earthquake victims this afternoon:
Today we will honour, by our silence, those who died in the Christchurch earthquake.
And in those quiet moments we can contemplate what fear or courage, what horror or hope filled their last moments.
People who began their day, just one week ago, the same way as we began our day today.
Their conversations and their laughter were savagely stopped and their homes and workplaces are ruined and quiet.
Today we stand in silence with those who watched them go, the families, friends, workmates and strangers who reached for them, tried their utmost to protect them and comforted them, even when their own lives were in danger.
And the end of our silence will be the beginning of hope.
Hope that we can stitch up the ragged edges of broken hearts and broken homes and rebuild.
Hope that the memory of those who have died will be the foundations of a renewed city and renewed communities.
We hope we can heal the doubts of all who have suffered from this devastation, that their homes and workplaces can once again be safe and sustaining.
So as this silence brings us together, may it also remind us of the truth that this suffering and loss, has taught us – our loved ones matter more and our daily anxieties matter less.
May the living have Hope. May those who have died Rest in Peace.