Sol­diers died up­hold­ing NZ’s val­ues

The Northland Age - - Anzac Day -

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.

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