Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 23, 2006 21:34:22 GMT 12
Which War Memorials in New Zealand mean the most to you? Do any have special meaning for you? Which one is the most pignant?
For me, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is a stunning place, when you walk into those rooms with the marble walls, and there are rows after rows after rows, floor to ceiling of gold-etched names of the fallen New Zealanders. It's very powerful.
The wall of names in the Wigram Museum is also like that and holds special meaning for me because I knew a copule of the guys who are on it.
As for town Cenotaphs there are some really amazing ones. I have always felt that the Cambridge Cenotaph is one of the best, because the figure on it represents youth, not a soldier (excluding sailors and airmen etc). And the windows in St Andrew's Church, Cambridge are stunning, and wolrd famous. See both here www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Cambridge%20War%20Memorials.htm
I also like the memorial at Picton, but am puzzled by the figure atop the archway. Is he French?
And the Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch, well that is innovative, functional and an amazing piece of art as well as a wonderful memorial. It looked even better after it was restored in the 1990's.
When the Tomb of The Unknown Warrior was officially dedicated with the laying to rest after the long journey from Logueval. I was there at the service. My wife has two of her father's older brothers buried in France, and on that basis I applied to Internal Affairs and was granted three seats, one for a Canadian who was staying with us at the time. The service was stunning! The performance of every serviceman involved was exemplary. I know the piper very well, and he was on the whole trip to France and back to the service in Wellington Cathedral, and there were a couple of things not mentioned on the official CD of the interment. For example, once they took over responsibility for the unknown warrior, he was never left alone. There was no instruction to that effect, they just did it, Even on the 757 on the way home, some of those young servicemen and women sat with the casket because "he had never flown before". There were actually two identical caskets made, one for the practice drills, which will eventually end up in the Army Museum at Waiouru, but when the real one was laid in the tomb, along with bits and pieces from every New Zealand province, it was very, very moving, believe me. The fact that now, every New Zealander wanting to pay respects to all those young men buried in France now no longer have to go there, is hugely significant. My Canadian mate said to me; "you know, there are not many countries could do what you've done here with such aplomb and lack of fuss. It was a privilege to be here".
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 23, 2006 22:12:41 GMT 12
I watched the Unknown Warrior ceremony on the TV live, and I have to say it was extremely moving. The television coverage was phenominally good too. And the serviceman and woman on that parade were at their best. It showed that it meant something special for those service personnel I think.
One of my mates works in central Wellington and he went along. His father fought in WWII and grandfathers served in WWI. He told me he was amazed that despite the many thousands of people lining the steet where he was, the silence was deafening. He said he's never seen such respect from people for anything.
One of the Padres conducting the funeral in the Cathedral was Sqn Ldr Ross Horton, based at Whenuapai. He's the uncle of one of my best mates, and I had the privilege of having him do the dedication of the plaque I laid for Cambridge's Air Force personnel two days after he'd done the Unknown Warrior's funeral. It was interesting to hear his perspective.
I wish I had gone down to it now. I have the ceremony on video somewhere but I intend to buy the DVD soon. And I hope to get to visit the tomb in person someday soon too.