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Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

North Otago’s memo­rial oaks were planted in 1919 as a memo­rial to 300 fallen ser­vice­men.

They grow in the shape of a liv­ing wheel, the hub in Oa­maru.

As I cy­cled the Alps to Ocean trail to Oa­maru at Easter, Amer­ica and North Korea were go­ing bal­lis­tic.

I passed memo­rial oaks and re­flected on the World War II sac­ri­fice that in­cluded Bri­tain’s 60 fe­male se­cret agent cy­clists.

How might I have fared on their wheels and what were their rid­ing con­di­tions like? At least 15 were ex­e­cuted, one agent un­cov­ered be­cause she looked right, not left, at an in­ter­sec­tion.

Our own district is pep­pered with ceno­taphs, cap­tured guns, flag poles and memo­rial halls.

But wars con­tinue and New Zealand now has 41,000 veter­ans. Poppy Day is on Fri­day. There will be many Anzac Day dawn ser­vices next Tues­day.

Give, be present, ride bikes, plant trees.

mar­jorie.cook@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz

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