Thursday, November 20, 2008

Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Messina Earthquake.

Interestingly enough, I was reading the article today on on the commemoration of the earthquake in Messina, Sicily/Reggio Calabria. Now, what's so interesting for me, is that this is a very familiar topic, because where my family is from and still lives, is in Reggio Calabria. We are directly on the beach in Calabria, facing the Strait of Messina.

When I'm there, I swim in the very water and walk on the land where the earthquake had devastating effects. The most interesting part about the earthquake, is that I am directly connected to that tragedy because my father's grandparents both perished in that earthquake and my mother's grandmother was trapped in her house for days and almost died. By a miracle, she survived and this story was told over and over again, to the family, to my mother and then to me and my siblings. To know about the devastation and then be there first hand, is very moving.

If you visit Calabria you know its literally a skip away from Messina. So, the region in itself was completely hit by this enormous earthquake. When you're in Calabria, the characteristics of the region almost seem untouched. You will see houses that were built 100 years ago, that are still in ruins or somewhat resurrected. I always say Calabria gets a bad rap, but to be in Calabria is like being part of history and living in it. There is something to be said about the untouched ruins or the archaic streets. So, when I read the article today, it really hit me, because here we are on this side of the pond talking about the devastation to a region that many people have no idea about or a region that many people left because of the devastation generations ago.

Its an interesting concept to realize that you're part of something or that you're living somewhere else because of an indirect event in history. Its all very surreal. So, I leave you with the article from today's commemoration. Its fascinating. Also, the picture I'm the same area where the devastation occurred 100 years ago. This is my personal picture from the summer in Reggio Calabria and the view is looking towards Messina, Sicily.

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