What Made New Zealand a Nation ?
First, Britain’s declaration of war on Germany marked not only the beginning of New Zealand’s involvement in WWI as part of the British Empire, but also the birth of New Zealand as a nation.
Our national identity was forged during those traumatic years.
The values that held us together during war and built our society after it were, to quote the RSA*, "compassion, comradeship, courage and commitment". Do we want these values in our lives, in our neighbourhoods today? What are we doing to teach them, to exercise them, to honour them?
Do We Actually Value Values?
Second, the price of international peace and security was massive for a small and pioneering country such as we were in 1914. Our forebears gave much to secure freedoms they thought worthy of sacrifice. The tragedy is that subsequent generations have neglected to nurture these freedoms or deliberately sought to erode them.
Today, these centenary commemorations have a very personal application. Lest we forget and mourn our loss of freedom and righteous values, let's recognize and emulate the integrity of our forefathers. Faith, family, country. Are they still worth dying for?
What we're doing about itClick this link for more details on "Women of Courage", presented by Isabel and Narelle Worboys during the "WWI Commemorative Concert" at the Dannevirke Town Hall, 3 August 2014.
* "Declaration of WWI was birth of nation"