Pleas to salute Ar­mistice Day

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - JOANNA GRIF­FITHS

South­ern RSA clubs are call­ing for the pub­lic to pay tribute to ser­vice­men and women on Ar­mistice Day.

The Awarua RSA and the In­ver­cargill RSA have partnered up this year to pre­pare a com­bined re­mem­brance ser­vice and wreath lay­ing at the In­ver­cargill ceno­taph on Fri­day, Novem­ber 11.

In­ver­cargill RSA chair­man Nor­man Wil­son said the clubs were call­ing for South­landers to pay tribute.

Each year fewer South­landers did some­thing for Ar­mistice Day, he said.

‘‘Last year only about 20 peo­ple showed up. We would like to at least dou­ble our num­bers this year.

‘‘Times have changed. Stop­ping for a minute at 11am on Novem­ber 11 used to be a given, ev­ery­thing used to come to a halt ... even traf­fic.’’

It would be great to see south­ern busi­nesses, or­gan­i­sa­tions, schools, and pub­lic fig­ures make the time and come to the ser­vice.

The ser­vice didn’t de­pend on num­bers and would go ahead re­gard­less of how many peo­ple showed or wet weather, Wil­son said.

Awarua RSA pres­i­dent Ian Beker en­cour­aged peo­ple who couldn’t at­tend the ser­vice to still ob­serve a minute of si­lence.

‘‘At 11am peo­ple should stop what they are do­ing for one minute, no mat­ter what they are do­ing. If they are driv­ing, pull over.’’

More than 100,000 Ki­wis served in World War I, thou­sands of those men were from South­land and not all of them came back, he said.

‘‘In this fast-paced world of to­day, I think it is good to stop and re­flect on those who came be­fore us. Novem­ber 11 is an ideal time to do that and re­mem­ber those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.’’

‘‘I mean, why do we say ‘lest we for­get’ af­ter the ode? It is be­cause when peo­ple for­get about past sac­ri­fices more wars get started.’’

Beker called for younger vet­er­ans to par­tic­i­pate in the ser­vice.

‘‘We know there are younger ser­vice­men and women in South­land, we would love to see them get­ting in­volved.’’

Peo­ple who want to par­tic­i­pate in the ser­vice should ar­rive at the In­ver­cargill ceno­taph at 10.45am on Fri­day, Novem­ber 11.

Ar­mistice Day, for­merly Re­mem­brance Day, is ob­served at 11am on Novem­ber 11 each year and com­mem­o­rates the sign­ing of the ar­mistice which ended World War I.

In­ver­cargill RSA chair­man Nor­man Wil­son and Awarua RSA pres­i­dent Ian Beker are or­gan­is­ing an Ar­mistice Day ser­vice in In­ver­cargill on Novem­ber 11.

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