Watch 200 New Zealand Soldiers Honor Their Fallen

Photo courtesy of the Australian & New Zealand Times

Shouting.  Stomping. Pounding one’s chest. All powerful actions to bid farewell to three fallen comrades.

Performed in unison  by 200 warriors – the farewell ritual is an unforgettable tribute.

This Haka – ritual expression – is used throughout New Zealand by many, not only Māori, to demonstrate their collective thoughts. It is an outward display of inner thoughts and emotions.

Units with the NZ Army have their own haka. This video shows the soldiers of 2/1 RNZIR Battalion performing their Unit haka, powerfully acknowledging the lives and feats of their fallen comrades as they come onto the Unit’s parade ground.

It is also an emotive farewell for they will leave via the waharoa (the carved entrance way) for the very last time.

Soldiers from the 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment performed the tribute for Corporal Luke Tamatea, 31, Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker, 26, and Private Richard Harris, 21, at their funeral service at the Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch. The were killed by a IED in Afghanistan in August.

My thanks to the Student Veterans Association at the University of South Florida for bringing this to my attention. May we all have a send off like this when our time comes.

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2 Responses

  1. Honor to the fallens, tribute to their sacrifices, that is expressed on a particular manner by buddies; the cause of death IEDs. We wait the time when no notice of such deaths will arrive to us. Claudio alpaca

  2. Amazing scenes from a tragic event. If only we could all show so much respect for their honour or for our own colleagues, friends and family irrespective of nationality or creed.

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