Self­less An­zac spirit in­spi­ra­tional

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

So­ci­ety’s prob­lems must be fought with no less com­mit­ment and courage as demon­strated by our fallen sol­diers, said Lieu­tenant Colonel Sir Harawira Gar­diner at the An­zac Day ser­vice in cen­tral Porirua last week.

‘‘ What is the point of them dy­ing if we have a lack of will to tackle chal­leng­ing is­sues?’’

Lt-col Gar­diner was the guest speaker at the civic ser­vice, held be­side the Peace Me­mo­rial at Te Rau­paraha Park.

Ear­lier, vet­er­ans and ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions had marched down Ha­gley St to­wards the crowded park, led by the Trust Porirua City Brass Band.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett paid trib­ute to the men and women who left the com­fort of home to face ‘‘grave hor­ror, grave peril’’.

He pon­dered why so many young peo­ple at­tend An­zac ser­vices in a time of rel­a­tive peace, and be­lieved they were able to sep­a­rate the bru­tal­ity and heartache of war from the duty and ac­tions of those who gave ser­vice.

‘‘We’re able to com­mem­o­rate the ac­tion of real peo­ple, some of whom were from our city.’’

He said young peo­ple also like to think the courage and self­less­ness dis­played by ser­vice men and women could ex­ist within them­selves.

Lt-col Gar­diner said An­zac Day was about cel­e­brat­ing the abil­ity of the New Zealand spirit to sur­mount all odds.

‘‘AN­ZAC Day is not a day to

Vet­er­ans led the pa­rade to the Peace Me­mo­rial at Te Rau­paraha Park, where a healthy crowd gath­ered for the city’s An­zac Day ser­vice. cel­e­brate war. It is a time to cel­e­brate the lim­it­less ca­pac­ity of the hu­man spirit. It is time to ac­knowl­edge and cel­e­brate or­di­nary men and women who did not hes­i­tate to stand up to serve our coun­try.’’

He noted the of­ten for­got­ten con­tri­bu­tion of Pa­cific Is­land sol­diers in World War I and re­called the de­light of Viet­nam vet­er­ans when their con­tri­bu­tion was fi­nally recog­nised by Par­lia­ment in 2008. Lt-col Gar­diner had served in South Viet­nam with the New Zealand Army.

‘‘I am sad that many of our mates died not know­ing that our coun­try can still be grate­ful, even if be­lat­edly, to those who serve it self­lessly.’’

To­day New Zealand is a land of bounty and op­por­tu­nity, a first­world na­tion, he said, but ten­sions ex­ist, from health­care to ed­u­ca­tion and crime. Such chal­lenges must be fought with no less en­ergy and sac­ri­fice as those who went to war.

‘‘Our weapons in this war of sur­vival are the bound­less stretches of our imag­i­na­tions.’’

Walk­ing tall:

Strong turnout: Blue skies and heavy hearts were in abun­dance.

Words of wis­dom: ‘‘The images of war­fare are of­ten bru­tal and sav­age and yet, at times, the im­agery cap­tures the soul of a na­tion and is a stark re­minder of the waste of hu­man lives,’’ said Lt-col Harawira Gar­diner in his ad­dress.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.