Greetings to everyone gathered here this morning.
It is a great honour to be invited to speak today on behalf of the Waitematā Local Board. I’m joined by board member Adriana Christie who is experiencing her first ANZAC day commemoration in Grey Lynn.
I’d like to acknowledge everyone who contributes to this occasion which is a uniquely Grey Lynn commemoration – president Rocky, the club committee, veterans, Rev Mua, service people, merchant seamen, the military re-enactment society and distinguished guests. We gather here as a community of family, friends and neighbours to mark the 102nd anniversary of the landings by ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in 1915.
As a migrant to NZ I don’t personally have a family connection to Gallipoli or any NZ’s military heritage. But I give thanks to the Grey Lynn RSC for uniting us all on ANZAC day regardless of nationality, ethnicity, background, religion or political beliefs.
We have 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.
The campaign at Gallipoli was brutal, bloody and entirely futile. We make a commitment each year that we will not forget, that we will not repeat the mistakes of the past but sadly on-going conflicts around the world show that history continues to repeat itself. We look to our leaders to find peaceful solutions in the face of escalating conflict and sabre rattling.
Gallipoli marked the dawn of nationhood for NZ and Australia. I give thanks for the ANZAC spirit of sacrifice, courage, commitment and giving which has seen NZ cope through natural disasters and rise to the challenges of our time.
Young people are central to ANZAC commemorations across the country no where more so than in Grey Lynn. A special kia ora to all the tamariki here today commemorating in your own way but also enjoying the freedom of being out in the street surrounded and protected by your community.
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 we recommit to the importance of peace, independence, fairness and freedom.
Kei wareware tatou
Lest We Forget
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