Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Governor-General's speech at the Cassino War Cemetery

Governor-General's speech at the Cassino War Cemetery

Speech given on Sunday 18 May by the Governor-General at the Cassino War Cemetery, Italy, to mark the 70th anniversary commemorations of the Cassino Battles.

E aku rangatira
O Itari,
O Cassino,
Tenei aku mihi mahana ki a koutou,
Ki nga maunga,
Nga awa,
Me nga whenua,
Tēnā koutou i tenei ra whakamaumahara hirahira.

Ka huri ki a koutou te hunga mate,
Nga tūpāpaku hoia o te Pakanga o Monte Cassino,
Takoto, mae mai, okioki i roto i te rangi marie.

Kia hoki mai ki a tatou te hunga ora,
E te Arikinui, Prince Harry, tēnā koe,
Ki a tatou katoa o Aotearoa,
Kia ora huihui tatou.

The esteemed people of Italy and Cassino
My warm greetings to you,
To the mountains, the rivers and the land,
I greet you on this special commemorative day.
I turn to you, the deceased
The soldiers of the Battle of Cassino
My respects to you all lying here
Rest in peace.

And to those gathered here, your Royal Highness, Prince Harry, greetings.
To all those from New Zealand.
Greetings to us all gathered.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

It is a great honour to join New Zealand veterans from the Italian campaign at this commemorative ceremony today – the 70th anniversary of the day when Cassino finally fell to Allied forces.

On behalf of all New Zealanders, I thank you for your service during the war effort, and honour those of your comrades who cannot or could not be here today.

This journey will bring back vivid memories of your wartime experiences, and the highs and lows of a tough campaign.

Tens of thousands of New Zealanders came to Italy to free the Italian peninsula from the yoke of fascism.

They fought a stubborn and determined enemy, well-entrenched in defensive positions, who resisted every inch of the way.

Some paid the ultimate sacrifice so that successive generations could enjoy a rich peace. The promise of their hope is reflected in the faces of the young people from New Zealand and Italy who are with us today.

In the 1940s, most New Zealanders would have had a sketchy knowledge of Italian geography, but from the latter part of 1943 until February 1946, when the last of our troops left Italy, words like Orsogna, Castelfrentano, Cassino, Faenza, Rimini, Trieste, Padua, Sangro and Senio would become part of our vocabulary and part of our nation’s story.

Cassino was a particularly hard-fought and desperate battle – where, despite heroic efforts and weeks of fighting, victory was to remain elusive for our men.

American troops had mounted the first unsuccessful assault.

In the second, involving New Zealand and Indian troops, the 28th Māori Battalion suffered particularly heavy losses in the attack on Cassino’s railway station. Only 66 men returned to the allied lines after the German counterattack, out of the 200 men who took part the assault.

In the third battle for Cassino, our men and the supporting tanks struggled to make progress through the wilderness of bombed streets and enormous craters. After 10 days, as casualties mounted, the New Zealand troops were withdrawn.

464 have marked graves in this cemetery and another 55 are listed on the Cassino Memorial.

I hope as more young New Zealanders show interest in the deeds and sacrifices of their forefathers, they will visit not just Gallipoli, but also the battlefields and cemeteries of Europe.

When they come to Italy, they will find few traces of the Italian battlefields. Time and the march of progress have seen to that.

But they will be able to retrace the footsteps of their tupuna, and feel their spirits walking beside them.

They will be able to visit the beautifully tended cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. They will take memories of those experiences home with them to pass on to their family and friends. And they will find that communities across Italy remember the sacrifices made by New Zealanders on their behalf.

And as our young people see prosperous and bustling Italian towns and cities, they will be proud that their forefathers helped generations of Italians to know the peace that we also enjoy in our country.

French author Laurent Binet has talked about the role of memory in honouring our heroes and consoling the living. He said:

The dead are dead, and it makes no difference to them whether I pay homage to their deeds. But for us the living, it does mean something. Memory is of no use to the remembered, only to those who remember. We build ourselves with memory and console ourselves with memory.

In coming to this cemetery today, we remember all who were victims of the tragic events here and elsewhere in Italy – the Americans, the Indians, the British, the Poles, the French and the Italians our men fought alongside as allies; and also our then enemies who fought well in a wrong cause.

But most of all today, we honour the 2176 young New Zealanders who did not return home after the Italian campaign. We remember a time in our history when New Zealanders came from the other side of the world in defence of freedom and democracy.

Today, we also seek, and hope to find, some consolation for those we lost.

No reira, kia ora huihui tātou katoa.
Again, greetings to us all gathered.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

ALSO:

New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news