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New Zealand Soldiers Honoring Their Fallen with a Maori War Chant is Haunting

YouTubeHaka is used throughout New Zealand by many, not only M?ori, to demonstrate their collective thoughts. There is a haka for each of the Services, as well as the Defence Force. 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. … There is almost no inappropriate occasion for haka; it is an outward display of inner thoughts and emotions. Within the context of an occasion it is abundantly clear which emotion is being expressed.

I apologize if you’ve seen this before, but it’s new to me. This was the funeral of three New Zealand soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan. Corporal Thornton sent it from Korea today and I figure Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is as good a time as any to post about soldiers grieving their fallen comrades. And the RNZIR’s way of paying tribute is just chilling. You watch the part where the cathartic War Dance is over and they all fall silent and words simply fail you.

I could say something about it putting a tear in your eye, but that goes without saying. Let’s just let this be a solemn reminder of the sacrifices these people around the world make every day. As many men gave their lives at Pearl Harbor as did on 9/11, when buildings so populated they each had their own zip code were attacked. By December 7th, 1941, New Zealand had already been fighting World War II for almost two years, and suffered almost 12,000 deaths in a nation of only 1.6 million. That valor and sacrifice lives on in a tradition like the Haka, one of the greatest forms of tribute I’ve ever seen. So thanks to the 2/1 RNZIR Battalion. To their fallen. To the Kiwis who fought Nazism and Imperialism. To all the Americans who enlisted to serve right after Pearl Harbor and have continued to do so for 76 years since. Peace.