70th El Alamein anniversary commemorated




 
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October 20th, 2012  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: 70th El Alamein anniversary commemorated


70th El Alamein anniversary commemorated

MIKE CREANLast updated 07:51 20/10/2012

A Maori karanga roused the spirits of 1100 New Zealand servicemen who lie beneath the ground of El Alamein, in Egypt.
Performers from the NZ Defence Force Maori Cultural Group gave the karanga and a maimai as they accompanied 21 African Campaign veterans from World War II entering the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery this morning (NZ time).
Most of the veterans knew this, the 70th anniversary of the Alamein battles, would be the last time they would visit their old comrades' graves.
The service for the New Zealand dead was colourful and poignant. The cultural group sang movingly and Defence Force Principal Chaplain Lance Lukin led the prayers.
NZ Ambassador to Egypt David Strachan described the significance of the desert battles and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman spoke of the importance of remembering the heroism of the men who fought for peace.
Chief of the Army Major-General Tim Keating gave a reading from John Mulgan's Report on Experience, describing a meeting with Kiwi soldiers in Egypt in 1942.
Veterans' representative Norman Twig, known to all as Leaf, read the Soldier's Psalm. Army Cadet Warrant Officer Brittany Philps read an extract from a poem by Donald McDonald, who died at El Alamein.
The Last Post was played, the flag was lowered, and raised again, the Ode was recited, and the cultural group sang Now is the Hour.
After the 45-minute service, the cultural group performed a haka. Veterans mingled with many of the 200 others present and visited graves in the cemetery. By the time they started heading for the buses, the hot sun was slipping quietly away, across the vast desert.
The cool breeze that sprang up made this small part of Egypt seem even more a part of New Zealand.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7842...y-commemorated
October 20th, 2012  
LeEnfield
 
 
When you think of it the youngest person to have taken place would now be 88 years old. So thanks chaps for what you have done and several of my family are buired at el Alamein
 


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