All Blacks and RSA call on New Zealanders to commemorate Armistice Day on Friday the 11th November. All Blacks captain Kieran Read holds the team jersey emblazoned with the poppy.
New Zealand’s Returned and Services Association (RSA) has joined forces with the All Blacks to encourage Kiwis to join in the international recognition of Armistice Day this coming Friday.
The All Blacks, in Italy preparing for their match against Italy on Sunday morning (NZT), recorded special messages of support for all those who have served New Zealand in all conflict and operations over the past Century to draw attention to the commemoration.
In keeping with the team’s remembrance when touring in the northern hemisphere, the All Blacks will also wear an embroidered poppy on the sleeve of their jersey as a mark of respect.
RSA President BJ Clark says Armistice Day is a day of great historical significance, solemnity and remembrance through-out the world, recognising the day that the First World War officially ended.
“While in New Zealand, Anzac Day is our major day of remembrance, Armistice Day is a major moment of reflection as we call to mind the day when the guns fell silent and all those who served in the Great War and every operation since then.”
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Armistice Day is a day New Zealanders should never forget.
“The significance of what our young men and women have done and are doing to this day is not lost on the All Blacks, because we’re trying to represent our country and make them proud and those people are also representing New Zealand, trying to make it a safer world for us to live in and making us proud in doing so.
Hansen says the team wearing the poppy on the sleeve allows them to say thanks to those people who have given their lives and those people who went to war and served New Zealand in operations overseas and those serving at home.
“It’s our little way of saying, hey, we thank you for that, and we remember you.”
All Blacks captain Kieran Read echoed that sentiment: “On Armistice Day the All Blacks and the RSA are encouraging all New Zealanders to take a moment and think about those who lost their loved ones and the families who carried on.
To view the video clips, click here.