October 25th is a bittersweet day for me. On one hand, I think back to being at the hospital and the excitement surrounding the soon-to-be birth of my first child. On the other hand, the date marks the anniversary of the terrible flood and mudslides that devastated Vernazza and Monterosso (as well as the Val di Vara on the opposite side of the ridge). I remember feeling so relieved that my son was born the following day, sparing him from forever sharing his birthday with the anniversary of a tragedy.
Eight years have passed since that terrible day, a day which claimed the lives of four people in the Cinque Terre and nine others in the Val di Vara. The images and memories from that day haunt those that lived through it.
May we learn from our mistakes, may we respect (and fear) the power of Mother Nature, and may we never forget that day.
A special mass will take place today in Monterosso followed by the placing of flowers at sea in remembrance of the lives lost.