14 Nov 2010

800 attend Remembrance Sunday service in Wellington

2:21 pm on 14 November 2010

The last New Zealand soldier to die in combat was among those commemorated at a service in Wellington to mark Remembrance Sunday.

About 800 people, including members of the navy, army and airforce, gathered at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul for the annual service to commemorate war dead, and pay tribute to Defence Force personnel currently deployed overseas.

The dean of Wellington, the Very Reverend Frank Nelson, told the congregation the death of Lieutenant Timothy O'Donnell in Afghanistan in August had brought home the reality of war to many New Zealanders.

Revd Nelson, told the congregation that it was a desire for a better world, free from oppression, that led tens of thousands of New Zealanders to sign up to serve in WWI, and two decades later, led their sons and daughters to enlist in the armed services in WWII.

As the country remembers their sacrifice, he said, New Zealand must also remember those living in conflict zones today, and refugees of war who come to New Zealand for a better life.

The service began with a colourful flag parade representing the Navy, Army and Air Force, the Police and veteran soldiers from the Returned and Services Association.