Topic: Battle of Gate Pa Commemoration: Flag Blessing (29 April 2014) by Rev. John Hebenton

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Rev. John Hebenton TSSF, Vicar of the Anglican Parish of Gate Pā, gave this Flag Blessing during the Dawn Service at the 150th commemoration of the Battle of Gate Pā at Pukehinahina on 29 April 2014.

E te Atua o nga wa katoa,
i karangatia e koe au pononga
ki te whakaatu i te tika me te pono ki nga tangata katoa.

You have taught us to love our enemies and to pray for our oppressors;

You teach us that if our enemy is hungry to feed them, if they thirst to give them drink.

In this place and at this time we remember those who fought here 150 years ago

We come to remember those who fell on this day in 1864 fighting for what they believed in and in doing so helping to create the world in which we live today.

We remember also, those who suffered the loss of fathers, sons and husbands to the seemingly unquenchable hunger for lives that war demands.

We remember those who in the simple act of offering water to those they fought offered hope for the future.

Give us all the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our nation and our community.

We ask your blessing now upon this flagpole and upon these flags. Symbols of this history. Symbols of this pain. Symbols of our hope.

Ki runga i te ingoa o te Matua, o te Tama, o te Wairau Tapu.

May all those who gaze upon this flag pole and the flags that will fly on it have eyes to see and hearts open to the true meaning of reconciliation.

May those who look on this pole show courage and respect as we journey together.

Lord as we stand upon this sacred ground,

Bring peace to all of us, protect us from harm,

Strengthen us in all difficulties and help us to show love and understanding to one another.

Ma Ihu Karaiti hoki to matou Ariki, Amine.  

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