As people join in Anzac Day services throughout the country it is timely to reflect on the final days of a war which took its toll on those serving abroad and those at home, says Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Grant Robertson.
“One hundred years on, in this final year of the 100th commemoration of the First World War, we remember the colossal impact the First World War had on those serving overseas, as well as their families and communities here in New Zealand,” says Grant Robertson.
“It was on the Western Front where New Zealand made its most significant contribution to the First World War, and also where New Zealand suffered the greatest loss of life. More than 12,000 New Zealanders died in France and Belgium between 1916 and 1919.
“This Anzac Day we recall their sacrifice as well as all those who have served New Zealand in times of conflict. At Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, members of the public have the opportunity to attend the Dawn Service at 6.00am and the National Commemoration at 11.00am.The daily Last Post ceremony will conclude the day’s activities at 5.00pm.
“Whether people are at Pukeahu, at ceremonies in their own communities here in Aotearoa or overseas, Anzac Day is a time when we remember the sacrifice and commitment of our service men and women and what this meant for the people at home.
“We should also remember, as the RSA highlighted in its theme for this year’s poppy appeal, that not all wounds bleed. Some of the most common, but least understood, wounds suffered by our servicemen and women are mental health injuries.
“This Anzac Day is a time to reflect on our desire to avoid another generation suffering the devastation of war. I invite New Zealanders to remember, reflect and renew their commitment to peace in the world,” Grant Robertson said.
Published on 26th April 2018