The National, Tuesday July 24th, 2012
By GRACE AUKA
THE heat of the sun did not stop the spirits of many Port Moresby residents, relatives of fallen heroes and representatives of institutions and churches from paying their respects during the 31st Remembrance Day memorial service at the Ela Beach Memorial Park yesterday.
Speaking there, Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio reminded the nation of the sacrifices made by the many thousands of men and women of all walks of life in the past conflicts in ensuring “our society is as much as possible free and peaceful”.
“Those unsung heroes made it possible for what we are enjoying today – freedom, peace, decency and prosperity that our government and donor friends have been providing to our communities,” Sir Michael said.
“The decisions they took to commit to the cause of defending our land and way of life was painful, immensely sacrificial and selfless.”
He urged the nation to reflect on why it really mattered to celebrate Remembrance Day.
Sir Michael appealed to the people of Papua New Guinea to spend some time reflecting on the journey of the men and women during those darkest hours in their lives defending and ultimately paying the price to transform our life that we enjoy today.
He said this was an important national day and not just another holiday.
“It is a time that brings people together to share the memories and events of the World War II – the sacrifice, the fear and the courage of the fallen heroes.”
Sir Michael thanked and paid special tribute to PNG’s foreign allies who lost their lives on the country’s soil, especially soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.
“We must pay homage and respect to the many people who provided essential support as carriers of the wounded and injured in the defence of our land,” he said.
He said it was really about unpacking the true meaning of Remembrance Day and identifying with the hard lessons of sacrifice, total commitment, selfless lifestyle and a free will to service for the common good.”