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Field of Remembrance widens our lens this Anzac Day

Published: 12 April 2019

Vector Lights on Auckland Harbour Bridge will shine poppy-red tonight, 12 April, for Poppy Day and will display a moving Anzac Day light show too, complete with a fitting soundtrack, on 23, 24 and 25 April from 6pm until midnight each evening.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira will also light up on 12 April for Poppy Day and on 23, 24 and 25 April for Anzac Day.

The second commemorative event starting this week is a new Field of Remembrance with 171 crosses.

Placed on the northern slopes of the Auckland War Memorial Museum and in front of the Cenotaph, it forms part of the Auckland RSA’s 2019 Anzac Day commemorations this year.

Renowned New Zealand historian and author Dr Stephen Clarke says 170 of the crosses will honour servicemen and women who died on active service overseas in the last 120 years, during the South African War of 1899–1902, World War I and II, and conflicts since the end of WWII.

And one single cross will honour the 3000 men and women who died on all sides of the New Zealand Wars from 1845 to 1872.

Remembering NZ's fallen

Visitors to the Field of Remembrance will see the names of our fallen from the Pacific Islands who died fighting for New Zealand. There will be crosses bearing the names of a selection of those men and women who died during the South African War and the two World Wars but every New Zealander who has died since the end of WWII will be represented by a cross, including in Japan, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the New Zealand servicewoman who died on the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

Notably, Dr Clarke says, one single cross in the field will be worded in both te reo Māori and English – Ngā Pakanga O Aotearoa / The New Zealand Wars.

Dr Clarke believes this single cross will hold considerable mana and emotion for New Zealanders who visit the Field of Remembrance, as it recognises the brave men and women who died on our own soil during the nineteenth century.

“While Anzac Day officially commemorates those who died overseas it is appropriate to also remember those men and women who died here during the New Zealand Wars, which had such significant impact on our history,” Dr Clarke says.

The Auckland RSA is pleased this new field of crosses will help Aucklanders remember the sacrifice of these Kiwis – Māori and Pākehā – killed during a defining part of our history and nationhood.

Mayor Phil Goff says Auckland Council is proud to support the RSA every year with their Anzac Day events.

“It’s fitting and timely to see these 171 new crosses widen our lens this Anzac Day as we remember also 80,000 of our men and women who survived WWI, the majority of whom returned home in 1919, one hundred years ago,” the Mayor says.

Auckland Anzac Day services have been confirmed and the updated information is now available here.

Read more: Heritage Community

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