We will remember them!
For the past 20 years Challenge 2000 has encouraged our young people to reflect on ANZAC day, what it meant in 1915 and what it means today.
Our focus is on Service, Sacrifice, Peace and Justice and how these are significant values of our country – now and then.
Much time is spent on learning about WWI and WWII in particular and how these wars shaped the psyche and soul of Aotearoa New Zealand. Then a play is workshopped, practiced and delivered in centres and churches. What happens is incredible. The “actors” actually absorb the identity of those young men and women who served overseas. Flanders Field becomes real to the “soldier” and the mum and children who stayed at home know the pain and fear of waiting. The nurse writing the letter for Reg on board the hospital ship leaving Gallipoli is moved to tears as Reg says how his younger brother was killed on the beach.
The haka by a soldier of the Maori Battalion at El Alamein honours his dead comrade and beings the spirit of his ancestors alive again.
Words can’t describe it really – but our young people grew as they discovered the history, feelings and courage, fear, pain and reality of War and its wide ranging effects.
Now we need to not just remember but to act so that all can have the quality and type of life that others were prepared to serve and die for.
Will you serve? Will you sacrifice? The challenge is there. Worth thinking about – worth acting on!
And the conversations weren’t all serious…………………
Conversation in a vehicle:
Sam, 7, who acts as a boy in 1945: “When I take Under Mike by the hand – shall I say come and see my poster of Aaron Cruden?”
Luke, staff member: “Ummm maybe don’t say Aaron Cruden cos he wasn’t alive in 1945”
Sam: “Shall I say Christian Cullen?”
Luke: “No I don’t think Christian is that old either! Maybe you just say rugby stuff?”
Sam: “Yeah maybe the All Blacks weren’t invented them!!!”