Today San Francisco marks the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake. The San Francisco Chronicle is providing excellent coverage of the day's memorial events and tributes.
As someone who lived through the 1989 earthquake (7.1 on the Richter scale), I am convinced that if you must be in an earthquake, San Francisco is the place. Because they know what to do: the police, fire and rescue coordination is fine-tuned and efficient. People are as prepared as anyone can be to face a natural disaster.
Older buildings have been retrofitted to make them more likely to withstand the powerful force of a quake. New buildings have been designed to bounce on giant springs, rocking and rolling with the earth's movement.
San Franciscans are a hardy lot: strong resilient people, who aren't intimidated by occasional tremors. They all know the odds of another big quake. But are they moving away in droves? No. Because San Franciscans have heart and spirit, just like the pioneers who originally settled the city. San Franciscans know the risks and choose to live there anyway.
For seven years I was privileged to call San Francisco home. Oh, how I miss it! Today I salute San Francisco, my favourite American city. Long may it stand!