Armistice Day pays tribute to lives lost
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.