A returned serviceman from Mandeville says it is important young New Zealanders continue to learn about the Anzac tradition, as its legacy lives on in continued sacrifice.
Aaron Horrell, who served in East Timor and twice in Afghanistan, applauded Longford Intermediate’s initiative to hold a ceremony this week at the culmination of their studies into the Anzacs and World War 1.
As the ceremony unfolded, Mr Horrell told the children of his own experiences in service and why keeping the Anzac memory real was important.
“We need to be educating the children in the schools about Anzac,” Mr Horrell said.
“There are people still heading overseas serving their country, dying for their country and we need to remember the ones who didn’t come home.
“These children need to know it was not just their grandparents who may have served.”
The school held an Anzac commemoration ceremony on Tuesday.
Mr Horrell was an invited guest, as were Gore’s Air Training Corp squadron leader and unit commander Lindsay Young, Korean veteran Wattie Gee, Gore RSA parade marshal for Anzac Day Michael O’Neill and Canon Chris Rodgers, of the Holy Trinity Anglican church.
Longford Intermediate teacher Nicky Millar said the ceremony had been a collaborative effort between all the classes over the past few weeks.
“Reciting the ode, learning flag protocol, digital presentation and presenter roles were taken on board to be able to give a professional presentation,” Mrs Millar said.
Pupils Manmeet Kaur(12) and Ella Soper (12) both agreed they had come away with a better understanding of past sacrifices.
“It is important to learn history and what life must have been like in the trenches,” Manmeet said.
“For me it is about respect for the forces going out to help us and sometimes sacrifice their lives.”
Ella was also humbled by those who went overseas to serve their country.
“I appreciate being told what has happened and have a new respect.”