Anzac Day speech 2019

Grey Lynn RSC Parade and Service

Rau rangatira ma e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou.  E ngā hau e whā

Kia ora tātou katoa.  Greetings to everyone gathered here this morning.

We come together this year on the 104th anniversary of the Anzacs landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 and the close of New Zealand’s Centenary Programme that marks the return journey home. Our thoughts turn to those who didn’t make it back from distant shores to their homes.  To those who kept the homefires burning throughout the Great War . To those who returned to their loved ones traumatised and scared beyond repair from the horrors of war.  To those who would die at home in the aftermath of war.

For the Muslim community that promise of security and safety on our home shores has been severely shaken by the terrible attacks in Christchurch.  Out of the horrific massacre and in the Anzac spirit we have an opportunity to recommit to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding of all people regardless of religion, ethnicity or cultural differences.

Each year we all come together, not to glorify war, but to commemorate New Zealanders, Australians and Pacific peoples who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations and share the sorrow at the loss and suffering of so many lives in war including those opposing war.   18,000 New Zealanders and  people  from the Pacific Islands didn’t return home from the Great War.  Tragically since, what was meant to be the war to end all wars a further 12,000 men and women have died in conflicts overseas.  We acknowledge those who maintain the security of home, respond in the times of crisis and  and contribute to the strength and resilience of our communities.

I’m really honoured to be invited to speak today on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board.  The Local Board is pleased to be able to support the Grey Lynn RSC’s very special and unique Anzac day parade and service. I give thanks to the Grey Lynn RSC for bringing us all together as a community to remember the lives lost and the huge impact of war on those who served and their families.  Thank you for providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive place.

It highlights that Anzac day is for everyone.  It is our day of national commemoration.  Vice-President Gary and members of RSC you are right to feel passionate and proud about the the parade and service you host that as you say welcomes the whole community including the many children who enjoy attending.

We remember and reflect on ANZAC day together and work to ensure future generations do not face the horror of war. As we remember those who sacrificed their lives and honour those who served.  As we reflect on the divisions of hate, of the lives lost in a places of worship in Christchurch and Sri Lanka may we reconfirm our commitment to peace, justice and democracy.

Kei wareware tātou

Lest We Forget

Peace be upon us

No reira

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