A statement from former Christchurch Mayor Sir Bob Parker has been read by current mayor Lianne Dalziel at today’s national memorial service, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that killed 185 people in the city. Sir Bob, who had a heart attack and stroke last year and is living in a hospital care facility, attended today’s service

Today I feel sad and humble, but also very proud to be sitting alongside you as we remember the horror of that dreadful day 10 years ago.

It was a nightmare that was delivered on that mild sunlit late summer’s day – a moment that changed everything and everyone forever – a moment that caused a level of destruction and casualty that none of us will ever forget.

For those who were not here at the time, it would be difficult to really understand what we felt, what we shared, what we lost. Those who were here, or whose loved ones were here, share a bond that is impossible to explain beyond this place.

So many families still carry the pain of loss. Our thoughts are with you all and we will never forget the mothers, fathers, children and wider whānau that you mourn every day. Today we also put our arms around those amongst us who are still carrying injuries and memories that won’t go away. So many of you have faced ongoing difficulty and disruption to your lives.

We also say a heartfelt thank you to all of you who came from throughout New Zealand, from around the world, to help us at our time of need. We will never forget what you did for us.

On this day we also remember the collective community spirit that lifted us in our most difficult hours. May the aroha from that very same community give you strength today.

Kia Kaha,

Sir Bob

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