New Zealand Defence Force - Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
REMEMBERANCE DAY 1999 - EAST TIMOR
November 11th, 1999. As the mist rolled in and the rain fell, 150 troops from eight nations gathered in a non-descript
spot in the hills inland from Dili in East Timor. The site was the memorial to the men of the Australian 2nd Independent
Company from the Australian Commando Battalion who served on the island of Timor during in 1942. Those who came did so
to pay tribute to all those who have died in the service of their country for the cause of peace and stability.
The commander of the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET), Major General Peter Cosgrove from Australia, spoke of
the symbol that the memorial represented, “A place of soldiers, a place where the work and courage of soldiers had found
expression.” Major General Cosgrove also spoke of the work of the soldiers of the multi-national force in East Timor, of
service and of duty. “In this place of old soldiers do you think they would approve of our presence and the work we are
doing? I think they would. May they rest in peace”.
Also present at the service was an elderly Timorese man who had fought with the Australians in 1942 and the deputy
leader of the CNRT (resistance). The brief service concluded with the laying of wreaths and the playing of last post.
Story by Captain Darren Beck, New Zealand Defence Force Media Support Unit, Dili. Image links below...
New Zealand Forces In Dili, East Timor: Image 1.NZDF
New Zealand Forces In Dili, East Timor: Image 2.NZDF
New Zealand Forces In Dili, East Timor: Image 3.NZDF