Soldiers died upholding NZ’s values
Air Commodore (ret’d) Shaun Clarke ONZM, RNZAF knows first-hand how it feels to lose comrades in combat.
“When you bring a young person home in a box, you ask yourself whether any cause could possibly justify the loss. Speaking to their parents and loved ones is the most tragic, humbling, lamentable and apologetic situation you could imagine,” he told Kaitaia’s Dawn Anzac service.
“The thing that makes us as New Zealanders repeat taking that risk, over and over again, is that the consequences of not defending our values and norms seem likely to far outweigh the losses we already suffer,” he added however.
“Putting our fittest and sharpest young warriors on guard, at the very border of our civilisation, and among the oppressed peoples of the world where many plead for our help, is what we seem to have to do to secure our freedom — relative freedom from terrorism, which is daily in some countries; hunger, which is daily in some countries; civilian bloodshed, which is daily in some countries… [freedom from] dictatorships, bribery and corruption, mass weapons proliferation, genocide, intimidation or assassination of judges and journalists, the loss of the right of dissent, of the right of peaceful assembly, of the right to worship in your own religion, or even the right to make your case for fair treatment as a woman, or as a member of a minority group.
“Rightly or wrongly, the people we have lost defending these things.
“One hundred and four years ago New Zealand made a stand, along with a large number of like-minded countries, to defend our independence and our values. We paid dearly for it. Our young people gave their everything, not in twos and threes, but by the thousand.
died And today we remember them.”
A large crowd gathered in the dark for Kaitaia’s dawn service, and hundreds more crowded on to the Neva Clarke McKenna Boardwalk at Mangonui later in the morning, where a restored 1942 Jeep and an Indian motorcycle that also saw service attracted attention.
The service, organised for the third year in succession by the Mangonui Lions Club, included the reading of the Mangonui roll of honour by Brian Norton.
Major John Garton said the best way modern generations could honour the memory and legacy of those who sacrificed their lives was to uphold the values and principles that New Zealanders held dear.
Brian Norton reading Mangonui’s roll of honour
Mike Pooley took advantage of the 1942 Jeep on display at Mangonui’s service to gain a little elevation for his camera.