Ar­mistice Day pays trib­ute to lives lost

Ruapehu Press - - Your Local News - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

As Satur­day com­muters rushed through Tau­marunui on Satur­day, a som­bre gath­er­ing was do­ing what it al­ways does at this time of the year - mark­ing Ar­mistice Day.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, two min­utes of si­lence fell upon the crowd to hon­our the sac­ri­fices made years ago.

Ar­mistice Day marked the sign­ing to end the fight­ing in the First World War, 99 years ear­lier.

The Tau­marunui Ser­vice Cadets and King Coun­try Pipes and Drums led the ser­vice along with guest speak­ers.

A sym­bolic re­minder was marked by the 146 white crosses of lo­cal sol­diers who fought bravely.

RSA pres­i­dent said those sol­diers who died on for­eign soil, but were never iden­ti­fied, are known to God and re­mem­bered for­ever.

‘‘We are here to re­mem­ber th­ese who died at sea, on land and in the air es­pe­cially th­ese who gave through ser­vice to their com­rades in need, to the sick, the dis­abled and be­reaved.’’

The Great War had a mas­sive im­pact on com­mu­ni­ties through­out New Zealand and Tau­marunui was no ex­cep­tion.

Ruapehu Dis­trict deputy mayor, Marion Gil­lard said New Zealand gave its all, send­ing 100,000 sol­diers to fight for king and coun­try.

‘‘With a pop­u­la­tion over one mil­lion, no other coun­try in the em­pire suf­fered more heav­ily.

‘‘Look­ing back we can all see how for­lorn and il­lu­sory their hope was.

‘‘The years since has un­for­tu­nately seen many more wars with many more New Zealan­ders killed or in­jured.’’

Gil­lard said it was a time to re­flect and pon­der on the sac­ri­fices made so New Zealan­ders can en­joy the free­dom and choices they have to­day.

‘‘By re­mem­ber­ing the men and women who served our coun­try we help ed­u­cate our young peo­ple on the im­por­tance of his­tory and learn­ing from the past.

‘‘We are all here to demon­strates we have not for­got­ten that pros­per­ity and op­por­tu­ni­ties we all en­joy, have been hard-won.’’

Rev Chris­tine Hunn con­tin­ued the sen­ti­ment pray­ing that mankind would have the courage to con­tinue to fight against the evils of this time.

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