Coming of age

In our travels around the south island of New Zealand, we’ve come across small local memorials to men who lost their lives in World War I, specifically at Gallipoli and at the Battle of Passchendaele. The number of casualties the country suffered, 16,300 dead and 40,400 wounded, far exceeds any stake that the country had in the outcome of that war by exactly this: 16,300 dead and 40,400 wounded.

It is said that New Zealand and Australia came of age, seized their identities as unique countries at that time. They apparently took hold of the fact that Old Europe was none of their concern.

I have looked through memorials to Winston Churchill now, and find there are none in New Zealand – no streets or squares or ball parks or schools named after the bloody bastard. But there are an oddball number of such things in Canada, I have found.

From this I conclude that New Zealanders are better at naming things than Canadians. I happen to like the name “Christchurch” for a city, for instance, and am none too fond of “Edmonton.” That is just one example. I have others.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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2 Responses to Coming of age

  1. steve kelly says:

    I suspect New Zealanders, like most Americans, are totally brainwashed, ignorant of their own history.

    “From the Vietnam War, the Pentagon and its apologists have learned fundamental lessons about how to burnish, bend, and bury the truth.”

    “Perhaps the most damaging legacy of the post-Vietnam era lies in the way Americans have learned to live in a perpetual “wartime” without war being part of daily consciousness. While public support for Washington’s war policies is feeble at best, few share the Vietnam era faith that they can challenge a war-making machine that seems to have a life of its own.” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40943.htm

    Like

    • I have learned not to trust any of American history. If we cannot know the truth of events from four, thirteen, forty-six or fifty-one years ago, how can we have any confidence in anything before that? Did objective history cease to exist in 1963? Not likely. It’s probably always been like this.

      NZ TV is much like American TV, with lots of sports and drama and advertising, though less of the ads. We did see an investigative report on conditions inside Amazon.com distribution centers in Germany – not surprising, workers are not treated with dignity. The news agency put a mole inside with a camera, something American joirnalists would simply not do. What surprised me was that German government could not just demand to monitor workplace, but Amazon is tough, won’t let them in.

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