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ANZAC messages from Prime Minister and Governor-General

25 Apr 2021, 12:56 PM

The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

ANZAC Day Message 2021

 

On Anzac Day, as a nation we turn our thoughts to all those who have served our country in war, conflict and peacekeeping.

At this time last year, New Zealand was in lockdown, yet I was so moved to see the spirit of Anzac Day still shining through, with New Zealanders standing in front of their own homes, listening to the Dawn Service. It was testament that Anzac Day is about the best in us – unity, endurance, and compassion.

A very sad consequence of the pandemic was that veterans of the Second World War missed out on their national commemoration on 15 August to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of war in the Pacific. We are privileged to have veterans from that war and subsequent conflicts still among us, and these men and women will be honoured at services across Aotearoa today. Also delayed was the dedication of the Pacific Memorial in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, and I was pleased and moved to finally attend the dedication last month, in remembrance of the Pacific peoples who have served and sacrificed so much for our country.

2021 marks two special anniversaries. It is 70 years since the Battle of Kapyong in the lead-up to Anzac Day 1951, and I take this chance to acknowledge all the New Zealanders who served in the Korean War. I also want to give special acknowledgement to New Zealanders’ role in peacekeeping. In 1951, New Zealand made its first contribution to a multi-national peacekeeping operation, as part of a United Nations effort to resolve conflict over Kashmir. In 2021, we mark 70 years of our nation’s contribution to peacekeeping efforts around the world. We can all be proud of our service personnel – who continue to stand up for international goals of peace and stability, often at considerable personal cost.

I hope many of us will take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Anzac Day, and to acknowledge the tragedy of each and every life lost as a result of service overseas. And let us not forget the impact on loved ones, parents, children, siblings, partners, and friends, because New Zealand’s military history is their story too.

Let us share with all who have served our country, and all who continue to serve, our recognition and respect, as we gather together to remember on this most special day.

 

 Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister of New Zealand

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The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand

ANZAC Day Message 2021

 

Kia ora koutou

Every year, on the 25th of April, New Zealanders come together in a day of shared remembrance and reflection. We remember the brave men and women who have served our country in conflicts around the world, particularly those who sacrificed their lives in the name of peace and freedom. We reflect on the profound meaning of that service and sacrifice for generations of New Zealanders.

It is over a century since New Zealand and Australian troops – the ANZACs – landed at Gallipoli, and since Anzac Day was subsequently established to commemorate their service in that conflict.

Over time, many other significant milestones in New Zealand’s military history have been commemorated. In March, I attended the National Jayforce Commemoration at Wellington’s Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The service commemorated the more than 12,000 New Zealanders who served in the post-war occupation of Japan from 1946 to early 1949. When I delivered the commemorative address, I was pleased to be able to acknowledge Jayforce veterans in attendance – and the role they and their fellow Jayforce members played in establishing early bonds of friendship between our two nations.

Recently, we also marked 75 years since the end of the Second World War in the Pacific. This was recognised by the dedication of the Pacific Islands Memorial at Pukeahu last month. The memorial commemorates Pacific peoples who have served bravely and selflessly in support of New Zealand – and symbolises New Zealand’s cherished relationship with our Pacific neighbours.

A year ago, we were still coming to terms with the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic. On Anzac Day 2020, New Zealanders sought ways to commemorate the day, such as standing at dawn in their driveways across the country, in a moving gesture of remembrance and gratitude. The images from that morning became a part of our country’s history. They reflect the essence of this most sacred of days: courage in moments of darkness and fear – and hope for a future of peace, opportunity, and wellbeing for all.

Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou. We will remember them.

 

Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO

Governor-General of New Zealand