New Zealand’s Darkest Day

100 years ago, at the Battle of Passchendaele, NZ suffered its most horrific single day military losses. Over 800 dead on the day, and 300+ died of their wounds over the next few months. 

Lee and I snuck out to see the commemoration ceremony at the War Memorial Museum. Between the crowds and typical marble hall acoustics, we couldn’t really see or hear much of anything. Strains of choral music, random phrases from the speeches and prayers. Even so, it was a moving event, remembering a particularly incomprehensible battle. Here’s a good if unscholarly account. 

We couldn’t help but notice this proud old soldier standing near us. 

But it was Lee who saw the continuity from one generation to the next. 

May that determined young cadet never see the sights of war as seen by Kiwis in Flanders or Italy or Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan. 

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