Today we remember and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of all New Zealanders who have served.
Anzac Day 2015 – A Message from the Prime Minister of New Zealand
One hundred years ago, the newly formed ANZAC forces landed at what we now know as Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
These men, who left New Zealand and Australia compelled by a sense of duty and adventure, could not have been aware of the immense challenges and horrific conditions they would face at Gallipoli.
Nor were they aware of the remarkable legacy they would leave.
The repercussions of the First World War sent shockwaves through our small nation. It was a time when New Zealand, then a member of the British Empire, began to play its own role on the world stage.
A century later, we stand proud as a modern multicultural nation as we remember the sacrifice and fortitude of our forebears.
This year thousands of New Zealanders and Australians will mark the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at dawn on the Gallipoli peninsula. Turkey’s welcoming of these visitors is testament to the possibility of building lasting peace, and ultimately friendship, out of conflict.
Over the next four years there will be a wide range of commemorative events around the world. In New Zealand, our legacy project is Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. With the Park now open, we have a national focal point at the heart of our capital city where we can go to honour and remember all those who have served our nation.
It is fitting that the first country to place a memorial at Pukeahu is Australia. The strength of our unique relationship, galvanised at Gallipoli, has helped our two nations play significant roles in the promotion of peace and security internationally.
Last year New Zealand gained a place on the United Nations Security Council for the first time since 1994. This is a huge honour, allowing us to further our commitment to building stability and maintaining peace worldwide.
Today we remember and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of all New Zealanders who have served in military conflicts. The values of courage, comradeship and commitment shown on the battlefields of the First World War remain the foundations of our Defence Force today.
As we honour this Anzac spirit, 100 years after it was forged, we can be proud of those who served then, just as we are proud of those who serve today.