White crosses will start appearing on Tauranga waterfront from next week as a Field of Remembrance is installed to mark the lives of the region’s soldiers who did not return from World War I.
A total of 109 crosses will be installed at dawn on various days from October 17 in the lead-up to Armistice Day on November 11.
They will be put in place by cadets from the Western Bay of Plenty Cadet Unit and later re-located to Memorial Park for the city’s official Armistice Day commemoration service.
This year marks 100 years since the armistice that ended World War I.
On November 11, New Zealanders across the country will remember the service and sacrifices endured by those who fought, and those who stayed behind.
“The First World War had an impact on almost every family at that time,” says Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless. “It is important that we remember this significant day in our history.
“This year we will celebrate peace and recapture the jubilation and hopefulness that would have swept many parts of the world at that time.
“I invite our community to come together and commemorate this significant date in our city’s history at the events taking place.”
As well as the Field of Remembrance cross installation, there will be an exhibition exploring the experiences of local soldiers returning home.
Homecomings: From Tauranga to the Trenches will run from October 12-November 8 on Tauranga waterfront, and from November 10 at Memorial Park, from 9.30am-3.30pm each day.
Tauranga’s commemoration will culminate in the Armistice Day Centenary Service at 11am on November 11 at Tauranga’s Memorial Park, with two minutes’ silence observed. Large-scale poppies designed by local artists will also feature, along with 109 white crosses united to honour the fallen.
For more information visit: www.tauranga.govt.nz/armisticeday