Ukraine adds stark reminder of war horror this Anzac Day
UPDATE: Great news! Subsequent to the publishing of this there have been some changes around services. The Otaki RSA is now holding its traditional Anzac Day Dawn Service from 6am, Monday April 25 at the Otaki Cenotaph and War Memorial. Visit www.otakirsa.co.nz/ for more information. There is no official service in Paekākāriki this year but the flag will be raised for the day at the Paekākāriki Memorial Hall so people can lay a tribute at their convenience.
As we pause to commemorate New Zealanders killed in war and honour our returned servicemen and women this Anzac Day, Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says the situation in Ukraine offers a reminder of the realities of war.
“While COVID-19 has again seen local Anzac Day services cancelled it is still really important to take some time to reflect on the sacrifices of all those who have served New Zealand,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
“The awful events in Ukraine are showing us daily the horror and tragedy of war. It is difficult to comprehend the scale of suffering and with constant media coverage, it is possible we could become desensitised to what is happening.
“We should not, so this Anzac Day I will be thinking not only of our Kiwi soldiers past and present but also those around the world whose lives are impacted by conflict.”
While the Ōtaki Dawn Service, the Waikanae Community Service, the Ōtaki Services Cemetery Retreat and the Paraparaumu Citizens Parade will not be held this year, the public can now be invited to Paraparaumu’s Memorial Arch at 7am to join a shortened service led by RSA president Philip Simpson and the RSA Executive. This will include the laying of a wreath, the piping of a lament, the playing of the Last Post, the reciting of the Ode of Remembrance, a minute’s silence, and overhead Kapiti Aero Club will again pay its respects with a flypast.
The day is being marked in other ways locally, including with a series of award-winning flags created by Flagmakers and photographer Esther Bunning being flown across the district to acknowledge the day. These will provide a poignant and visible display for all to see and reflect on.
National commemorations will take place on Monday 25 April at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington with a 6am Dawn Service and an 11am National Commemoration Service.
Both the Dawn Service and the National Commemoration will be broadcast live by TVNZ 1 and RNZ National.
“Whānau are also encouraged to ‘Stand at Dawn’ outside their homes at 6am on Monday 25 April 2022 to commemorate Anzac Day,” Mayor Gurunathan says.
“The last few years have been challenging and it is a shame we are again not able to gather as much as we’d like on Anzac Day. But let’s use the day to think back and be thankful for the peace we can enjoy here in Aotearoa.”
Poppy Day will be held on Friday, 22 April in Ōtaki and Waikanae.
There is no service in Paekākāriki this year but the flag will be raised at the Paekākāriki Memorial Hall for people to lay flowers at their convenience.