Eighteen thousand Kiwi sons and daughters

Tomorrow is Armistice Day, and 100 years since the end of WWI. As part of the commemoration, a Field of Remembrance has been created on the lawn at the Auckland Musuem. There is a cross (or a Star of David) for every one of the more than 18,000 New Zealand men and women who died in that conflict.

This evening, hundreds of people walked through the field, many looking for specific ancestors. The Big T and I found both of his great uncles; one who died at Gallipoli, the other in the Third Battle of the Somme.

There is a separate area of the field commemorating the 1461 dead who also lost siblings, children or fathers in the conflict.

In a country of around a million people, New Zealand’s loss of 18,000 young men and women is tragic. Hardly a family in the country would have been untouched.

But how much worse for those families who lost more than one son or daughter. Tonight I can’t stop thinking about those mothers; especially the nine for whom the war robbed them of four of their children.

Posted to Six Word Saturday. Well, my title conforms.

Wordless Wednesday: 11 November

From the entrance to 'Scars on the Heart' permanent exhibition, Auckland Museum. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

Photograph at the entrance to ‘Scars on the Heart’ permanent exhibition, Auckland Museum. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

— Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), For the Fallen