Youngsters honour the sacrifice

Youngsters gather at a dawn ceremony.
Youngsters gather at a dawn ceremony.

The Anzac spirit is strong among Manawatu youngsters whose growing presence at dawn parades has been gratefully noted by veterans.

The number of young people paying their respects to New Zealanders who lost their lives in war and to the servicemen and women who came home appeared to increase every year, Palmerston North RSA president George Mathew said.

"I really don't know why we're getting those numbers in the last few years. . . . But all I can say is that I'm just so grateful and so pleased that young people are interested, whether they are going with their parents or on their own."

Feilding High School pupil Lauren Harrigan addressed the Feilding dawn service at Manchester Square yesterday morning in front of a crowd of about 1000 people and spoke about how it was important to remember all veterans, not just those who lost their lives in Gallipoli in World War I.

Palmerston North Boys' High School prefects were among those laying wreaths at the city's dawn service at The Square yesterday morning.

Mr Mathew said he felt moved by the surge in interest from children and teenagers who attended dawn parade ceremonies this year.

"Modern young people are criticised for a lot of things but I think they think more than people did a few years ago."

Manawatu Standard