"I am confident the torch of remembrance is burning brightly," says the Governor General.
Anzac Day 2015 – A Message from the Governor-General of New Zealand
On 25 April every year we gather to remember our nation’s fallen, as well as the brave men and women who have served in all conflicts in both combat and peace-keeping roles.,/p>
We have been marking Anzac Day for 99 years – longer than most people’s lifetimes – and our world has seen several generations of change since 1915.
What has not changed, and what observance of Anzac Day helps to affirm, are the qualities we prize: courage, compassion and comradeship – qualities which were displayed by our troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula and by our armed forces in subsequent conflicts.
On this day in 1915, a century ago, New Zealand and Australian troops disembarked at Gallipoli, onto a narrow beach flanked by steep cliffs. Just hours into the campaign, as their comrades fell all around them, they realised how perilous their mission was. It was the beginning of an eight-month ordeal, an experience which was to be a turning point in the history of this nation.
Visiting Gallipoli today, it can be hard to imagine how that serene landscape was beset by the noise, terror and confusion of battle. While we are fortunate to live in a time of relative peace, on Anzac Day we can reflect on the impact of conflict on our communities, and on our brave servicemen and women.
It was a privilege and honour for me to open Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington last week. Pukeahu is a place of contemplation, where generations of New Zealanders will go to honour those who have served their country and to learn more about our history of military service, in war and in peace.
With more young people attending Anzac services each year, I am confident that the torch of remembrance is burning brightly, and will be passed on to future generations.
In this way, we can be assured that the significance of Anzac Day will not fade, and people will continue to gather in towns and cities throughout New Zealand and across the world to commemorate our nation’s fallen and to remember the sacrifice of those who went before us.
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou – lest we forget.