Pleas to salute Armistice Day
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.