One of my whanau (family) lie unclaimed on that Antarctic mountainside. I've given myself a few days to write on this post. It was absolutely horrible to see the wreckage- a substaintial piece quite clearly belonging to Air NZ
- re-emerge from the glacier. It looked too new, like the accident had happened yesterday.
In this case, I honestly feel that its not the dead we should be grieving. They died instantly. They died happy, right up until the time of parting. They were surrounded by champange, laughter and a feeling of shared joy. They were delighting in a wonderful and special day for them. Death came instantly and without warning.
The pain was for those left behind. The accromony, the arguments, the blaming. For those non-New Zealanders, the effect on this small country would be equivalent to an aircrash in the USA, today, killing 23,000. It's made a deep and lasting scar on the country. Thankfully the lessons have been learned.
To me the anniversary is not just about the dead, but about remembering the efforts made by the great team of men who risked their own lives to try and bring everyone back from the dangerous mountainside. It also about the police who put the pieces of a grizly a many thousand-piece jigsaw together to reunite the families that were torn apart. I salute them and thank them.