Remember them by the way we live our lives today

remember them

Against a background of the war in Ukraine and the conflict in Afghanistan, ANZAC Day 2022 challenged many Wellington youth to appreciate the war sacrifice of our ancestors and pray for peace, to ‘remember them.’

As part of programmed visits and a range of events, the young people joined a pilgrimage around Wellington’s military sites and ended the day with Mass.

The pilgrimage was sponsored and organised by Challenge 2000, a youth development agency.

Firstly for youth and pilgrimage directors, the pilgrimage to remember them meant getting up very early to attend the traditional Dawn Service at the Cenotaph.

Later in the morning the pilgrimage weaved its way to the 11am service at Pukeahu; the national memorial, while interspersed throughout the day were visits to the Chunuk Bair stone at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Ataturk Memorial, the gun emplacements around the entrance to Wellington harbour, and the Te Papa Anzac Exhibition.

The pilgrimage concluded with a Mass for Peace.

It was a very full day.

“Touching that stone from Chunuk Bair at St Paul’s Cathedral made me feel part of me was there and now I can tell my mokopuna about Gallipoli and that many of our people rest there,” commented Mihi Hough, 18, on what made a significant impact on him.

The day was not just for young people and, reflecting on her experience of the Mass, parishioner Margaret Dunne, said “the young people bring us the hope of peace.”

Dunne, like many in New Zealand, personally knows the grief of war.

Describing it as a happy-sad event, she said her great uncle was buried at Passchendaele and, fortunately, her father returned.

In the course of the liturgy, Dunne says she was particularly taken by the use of ‘Kohima’s epitaph:’ “When you go home, speak to them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today.”

The epitaph was composed by Cambridge classicist turned wartime codebreaker, John Edmonds, at the end of the First World War.

Remember them

Petonio Foaese is honoured to lay a wreath at the ANZAC Day memorial service.

Kitty McKinley, Founder and Project Manager of Challenge 2000, says that she is proud of the way that young people, past and present, are prepared to learn about and understand what the ANZAC spirit is and try in their many fields of endeavour to live the values of service, sacrifice, love, justice and peace.

McKinley said that her father, who served in WWII in Egypt and Italy, never spoke of the war.

“What he did though was pass on his desire for a better world, his dislike of war and violence and his emphasis on each person doing their bit for a peace-filled and fair country and world,” she said.

“We will remember them by the way we live our lives today,” reflects McKinley.

As a Youth Development Agency, Challenge 2000 encourages young people to understand the past and to contribute to a better Aotearoa and world by adopting and living the values of service, sacrifice, love, justice and peace.


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News category: New Zealand, Palmerston.

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