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Victory in the cause of peace begins in the mind

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A New Zealand flag flutters among the headstones at Ari Burnu Cemetery on the Gallipoli Peninsula. PHOTO: NZ HERALD

A hundred years on, it's time to lay World War 1 to rest and focus on constructing peace, suggests Ian Harris.

Sunday marks 100 years since the guns of World War 1 fell silent. Scars of the conflict remain in vast cemeteries, the photo albums of countless families and the still-simmering tensions of the new world that lurched out of the wreckage of the old.

In recent years it has been freshly engraved in our consciousness through a steady stream of books, ceremonies, exhibitions, stamps, coins, plays and television programmes.

Now it is surely time to lay that war to rest and refocus our vision and our energy on the subtler challenge of building a truly just and lasting peace.

That won't be easy. Ever since the Gallipoli campaign, New Zealanders have taken great pride in our country's commitment to the ideal of freedom from oppression.

This impelled us to send young men in their thousands to fight and die for king, empire and the ruling classes of the day. They showed incredible devotion and valour.

So did their enemies,........

© Otago Daily Times