Canterbury and New Zealand have stood still to remember the events that occurred at 12.51pm on February 22, 2011.
Under overcast skies a memorial service was held in Latimer Square with Prime Minister John Key saying that February 22 will always be a poignant day in New Zealand’s history.
Two years ago a 6.7 magnitude hit Christchurch, claiming the lives of 185 people.
Addressing grieving families, John Key said: “I know this is a difficult day for you. Your grief is still raw and only time can help to numb the pain of your loss. This city and this country continue to feel for you.”
One minute of silence was held at 12.51pm, Red Cross volunteers quietly circulated the 1000-strong crowd to hand out timely tissues for those reduced to tears in the emotional service.
The New Zealand flag fluttered at half-mast as Christchurch mayor Bob Parker spoke of the great sense of loss that will “live with us forever”. Workplaces, schools and households all paused to pay their respects in their own ways.
In a touching venture hundreds of flowers were tossed into city waterways as part of the River of Flowers event.
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