Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the arrival of United States forces in New Zealand during World War II. It was recognised in Parliament by a Notice of Motion being moved by Foreign Minister Murray McCully, and in a rare moment of unanimity, those who spoke to the motion thanked the United States for its support during the second half of the war.
Here's McCully's speech, courtesy of In the House. To view the speeches of other party leaders or spokesmen, click on the YouTube logo at the bottom right of the video window.
And to mark the anniversary, the US Marines Pacific Band has been touring New Zealand. They played a public concert in Wellington at lunchtime yesterday, and participated in a sunset ceremony at Parliament late yesterday afternoon. The US Embassy's website has a list of the band's remaining New Zealand engagements, many of which are open to the public.
We have much to be grateful to the United States for. At a time when so many of our young men were in active service in Europe and North Africa, the US forces waged war with the Japanese in the Pacific, and it was largely due to their efforts that Japanese attempts to overcome Australia and New Zealand were repelled. This part of the world may have been very different had the Japanese prevailed.
For that we simply say this; Thanks Uncle Sam.