District turns out to remember our soldiers and their sacrifices

EDITORIAL

The 100th Anzac Day was appropriately marked in the city, district and nation. It is a day of remembrance that brings a whole range of emotions, a combination of heartache for the people who gave their lives and pride in the nation that has been established since that fateful time.

There were some unique features at the Gisborne service this year, one being the use of a trench whistle for the first time. Nothing could have been more appropriate. This signal to go “over the top” was almost the last thing many of the servicemen would hear.

Anzac Day 2016 was also special because later this year the country will mark the centenary of the battles of the Western Front, where New Zealand suffered 82 percent of its casualties.

The presence of a naval contingent under their traditional white ensign was another welcome marker. This year is the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Royal New Zealand Navy, a part of the defence forces that will always have great significance for this district.

There was also a poignant sight by the C Company Memorial House with ceramic poppies marking each of the 649 Tairawhiti men who served with 28 Maori Battalion.

It is encouraging to see that numbers are holding up for the three main city ceremonies — the dawn ceremony by the Cenotaph, the Maori Battalion ceremony at Te Poho o Rawiri and the main civic service mid-morning. Equally rewarding is the age of the participants, from small children with their parents to now frail World War 2 veterans and all ages in between.

Smaller communities in outer parts of this district and up the East Coast also always make sure that the day is appropriately marked.

Sadly the need for people to put their lives at risk has not gone yet and does not seem likely to do so for the foreseeable future.

The country that exists today would be a completely foreign one to the young men who stormed ashore at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915 but it is one that has never forgotten them.

The 100th Anzac Day was appropriately marked in the city, district and nation. It is a day of remembrance that brings a whole range of emotions, a combination of heartache for the people who gave their lives and pride in the nation that has been established since that fateful time.

There were some unique features at the Gisborne service this year, one being the use of a trench whistle for the first time. Nothing could have been more appropriate. This signal to go “over the top” was almost the last thing many of the servicemen would hear.

Anzac Day 2016 was also special because later this year the country will mark the centenary of the battles of the Western Front, where New Zealand suffered 82 percent of its casualties.

The presence of a naval contingent under their traditional white ensign was another welcome marker. This year is the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Royal New Zealand Navy, a part of the defence forces that will always have great significance for this district.

There was also a poignant sight by the C Company Memorial House with ceramic poppies marking each of the 649 Tairawhiti men who served with 28 Maori Battalion.

It is encouraging to see that numbers are holding up for the three main city ceremonies — the dawn ceremony by the Cenotaph, the Maori Battalion ceremony at Te Poho o Rawiri and the main civic service mid-morning. Equally rewarding is the age of the participants, from small children with their parents to now frail World War 2 veterans and all ages in between.

Smaller communities in outer parts of this district and up the East Coast also always make sure that the day is appropriately marked.

Sadly the need for people to put their lives at risk has not gone yet and does not seem likely to do so for the foreseeable future.

The country that exists today would be a completely foreign one to the young men who stormed ashore at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915 but it is one that has never forgotten them.

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