New Zealand is a small nation.
The 6 degrees of separation that apply to the rest of the world are reduced to 2 here.
I was talking to a friend last week and we agreed that probably everyone in the country knew someone (or knew someone who knew someone) who was touched by the Erebus disaster of 1979. (The Nav Officer who entered the incorrect coordinates was a family friend, David knew someone more directly affected)
When your 8000-strong Defence Force loses 5 soldiers attached to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan within a matter of weeks, the pain is palpable.