ANZAC Citizens Church service
Representatives of the NZ and Australian Governments, Members of Parliament, Members of the New Zealand Defence Force, Uniformed Services, my Council colleagues, veterans, ex-servicemen and women, my fellow citizens of Christchurch, Councillors, friends, girls and boys – welcome to this morning’s service.
I would also like to acknowledge Dwayne Bloomfield and the Canterbury Brass and the Christchurch Boys Choir for performing at this service and Dean Lawrence Kimberly and the Transitional Cathedral for holding this annual event- and to all of you, attending this service today.
I attended the Dawn Service in Cranmer Square – and came to learn that there were 4398 crosses planted there, a stark and poignant reminder of the ultimate sacrifice that was made by so many New Zealanders between 1914 –1918. It was a dark chapter in the story of this nation, and one that defined our national character and our commitment to freedom, justice and equality, and the defence of our friends, neighbours and values.
Forged on the battlefield, the relationship between Australia and New Zealand, what we call the ANZAC spirit, lives on today. The fact that the Student Volunteer Army has partnered with the RSA and SEEK Volunteers to create Serve for NZ is a legacy of that same tradition of service, coming to the fore after our earthquakes. Our peacekeepers overseas embody the same ANZAC spirit one hundred years on, and so do our young cadets, our St John volunteers present today.
Today, this morning, we are gathered here to remember all those who have served their country, and all those serving today. We commit to serve our communities, to strive for peace, because we can never take peace for granted. Thank you.