April 24, 2013
Anzac services about defending freedom
Expect a big turnout of younger people at Anzac Day observances tomorrow, as new generations consider the sacrifices of those who fought on foreign fields.
Former soldier Matt Te Pou says he will be at the dawn parade at Te Rewarewa Marae at Ruatoki, along with the last Tūhoe member of the 28th Māori Battalion, Hare Te Nuku Ratana.
He says the way the commemoration is seen has changed over the years, as evidenced by the increased interest from younger people.
“In the 60s and 70s, there was alot of things going on in the streets and I think we lost sight for a period of time through demonstration about the supreme sacrifice that some of our soldiers did pay. Without a doubt, we also have the right to demonstrate because that’s what war is about. It’s about ensuring that we retain our rights and that we are free. On one hand it’s about remembrance, but I also feel it’s about celebrating our freedom,” he says.
Matt Te Pou says his association with the fast-dwindling number of veterans of 28th Māori Battalion has made him appreciate the strength of the bonds among those who have shared danger together on active service.
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