Our nation's sacrifice
Anation will remember our huge sacrifice in World War I when the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day is marked in New Zealand today.
More than 16,000 New Zealanders died in the four years of fighting between 1914-18. A further 41,000 suffered wounds on battlefields the names of which are now etched into our national psyche.
Sons, brothers, fathers, daughters, sisters and mums gave their lives for our country in the Great War — a conflict which at the time was cited as “the war to end all wars”.
History — and no lack of bloodshed in later years — showed that term was idealistic.
Increasingly, Kiwis of all ages are learning more about places such as Passchendaele and Le Quesnoy. No longer is our World War I history restricted to being dominated by the failed Gallipoli campaign.
The Herald has also led the way in commemorating our World War I deeds — for the past two weeks revisiting some of the most famous battles in which we fought. Today the Herald on Sunday profiles some of our Kiwi medics — a group who for too long were unsung heroes.
Most memorials to the casualties of war are solemn occasions — and for good reason.
For much of the many ceremonies around New Zealand that will again be the case today.
But in an unusual departure from tradition, a “Roaring Chorus” will follow the formalities this morning.
At 11.02am, church bells will ring and emergency services and ferries and other boats in our waterways and harbours will sound their sirens and horns.
Attendees at services around the country have been encouraged to bring pots, bells, whistles, hooters and horns to join in the cacophony of noise.
The “Roaring Chorus” has been designed to be a “big jubilant celebration of peace”.
● Last week’s editorial stated that a poor upbringing can lead to a range of problems for young people including autism and dyslexia. This was a sub-editing error and does not reflect the views of this newspaper. The Herald on Sunday accepts upbringing has no relevance to these learning issues and apologises for any distress the error caused.