D-Day 75th anniversary – jaded by war history

I must admit I have not had much interest in the 75th anniversary D-Day commemorations. I think I’m getting jaded by World War remembrances.

We have just finished five years of World War 1 centenary remembrances.

There was recent focus on the Monte Casino battle that was 75 years ago in Italy.

And we have an annual ANZAC splurge of war remembrances- media interest seems to have surged.

The media are running out of Returrned Servicemen who served in the second world war, but still manage to find someone who served and remembers the horrors and the lost comrades. Obviously it’s a big deal for them.

But, while the big wars need to be remembered so we can avoid anything like that scale of carnage and destruction again, I wonder if the commemorations are becoming a bit old hat.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful.

I realise we are going to get a string of 75 year commemorations of the end of World War 2.

But I would prefer to put more focus into what we can do to improve the world now and for the future. lessons of the past can be useful, put putting those lessons into practice now can be lost in the nostalgia.

First official commemoration of NZ Land Wars

The Land Wars are a part of New Zealand’s history that we should know more about. They are being commemorated officially for the first time, in the Bay of islands.

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Newshub: Northland hosts first official commemoration of NZ Land Wars

The first official commemoration of the 19th century New Zealand Land Wars is being held in the Bay of Islands.

A mass haka expected to involve hundreds of people will start the pōwhiri at Te Tii Marae at Waitangi on Friday afternoon.

More public events are planned over the weekend, including tours of famous battle sites at Ōhaeawai, Ruapekapeka and Russell.

Pita Tipene, from the organising committee Te Komiti Whakahaere, says it’s an historic event.

“It’s taken a long time to officially acknowledge these wars and our early history,” he says.

Mr Tipene says the wars are still affecting Ngāpuhi today, particularly as the iwi attempts to come together to coordinate a treaty settlement.

“These wars weren’t just between Ngāpuhi and the British imperial forces – there were just as many Māori on the British side as there were on the Māori side.

“Some of the fracturing of relationships in 2018 are still apparent because of fractures in relationships in 1845-46, so those aspects of our history need to be understood.”

The event follows a 2015 petition from Ōtorohanga College students, signed by 13,000 people, that called for the Government to set aside a national day of commemoration for the New Zealand Wars.

Good on the students for initiating this.  See (December 2015) Students prepare to take NZ Land Wars petition to Parliament.

It led to the Māori Party securing an annual fund of $1 million for national and regional events through its support deal with the previous National Government.

Another achievement by the Māori Party, supported by the National Government.

The national commemoration will be hosted by a different iwi each year, with half of the yearly fund set aside for that event.

It’s good that the commemoration will be moved around.

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Links of interest:

New Zealand History: New Zealand’s 19th-century wars

The New Zealand Wars: Timeline

Te Ara (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand):

  1. New Zealand wars overview

  2. Northern war, 1845–1846

  3. Wellington and Whanganui wars, 1846–1848

  4. North Taranaki war, 1860–1861

  5. Waikato war: beginnings

  6. Waikato war: major battles

  7. Gate Pā, Tauranga

  8. Pai Mārire, South Taranaki and Whanganui, 1864–1866

  9. Tītokowaru’s war, 1868–1869

  10. Pursuit of Te Kooti, 1868–1872

  11. Long-term impact

  12. External links and sources

A brick in the Labour wall

A letter to Labour members offering them a chance to have bricks in a commemoration wall alongside famous Labour leaders – for a price, including $250 for an unwaged, unnamed brick – is causing some consternation at The Standard.

Wainwright explains:

…an old fashioned letter with a flash donation form attached.

It’s bloody long and I don’t have a scanner handy. Usual “our party is in good heart” stuff talking about rebuilding and getting out the Labour message in 2016.

On the wall:

There are many ways we’ll commemorate our centenary but one of the most important to ensuring our Party’s future success will be a new project we’re commissioning – Labour’s Centenary Wall.

This wall will be built from bricks engraved with the names of our Party’s most influential and greatest leaders. It will act a s a reminder of the people who have carried the flag of our movement, as well as those who currently dedicate themselves to our shared cause. I twill show that together we are stronger than the sum of our parts.

I’d like to offer you the opportunity to have your name featured alongside those great figures from our past. Your name could feature on a brick next to party heroes like Michael Joseph Savage or Helen Clark. You’ll have the knowledge that your name will not only be a part of our party’s history for the next 100 years but that you’ve also played a key part in getting us back into government in 2017.

To have your name engraved on a brick on our centenary wall all you need to do it commit to make a regular weekly contribution of $5 $10 $20 or more to Labour until at least the end of 2017. For those who are unwaged we’re offering the opportunity to buy a brick for just $2.50 a week.

Over two years that’s:

– $250 “unwaged” for a brick
– $500 for a brick with your name on it
– $1000 for a brick with a certificate
– $2000 for a brick with a certificate and a letter from the leader

The thread including mostly uncomplimentary comments starts here.