New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will mark Anzac Day this year both at home and abroad, paying tribute to those who have gone before and thanking those still making huge efforts for a better world.
More than 30,000 New Zealand military personnel have been killed in wars and conflicts since 1915, with the ongoing struggle for a more peaceful world still happening today.
Acting Chief of Defence Force Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, who is taking part in the Dawn Service and National Commemoration at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington, said Anzac Day was a time to reflect on the past, while also thinking about those currently serving.
“Although Anzac Day has its origin in the First World War, we now remember the service and sacrifice of all personnel who have served in New Zealand’s interests, as well as the sacrifices made by their whānau.
“The First World War was widely seen in New Zealand and elsewhere as the ‘war to end all wars’. But as we all know it was not and our world is still ravaged, in Ukraine and elsewhere, by war and conflict.
“Today let us all think about the continuing need to stand up to those who have no regard for human rights or international law. We should also consider what we can all do in the ongoing struggle for a better, peaceful world.”
A number of NZDF personnel are overseas for Anzac Day this year including a contingent in Gallipoli, with other agencies supporting those events in Türkiye.
Many personnel will be marking Anzac Day in different time zones too, with a wide variety of services being attended.
The NZDF contingent deployed to the UK to train Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel will congregate during a Field Training Exercise to conduct an Anzac Day Dawn Service, paying their respects to their forebears.
The NZDF has been contributing to the training of Armed Forces of Ukraine personnel since May 2022; a rewarding mission, and an important contribution to the international community.
Personnel serving as United Nations Military Observers in Lebanon will attend Anzac Day services with Australian colleagues at the Commonwealth war grave cemetery in Beirut, and personnel with Observer Group Golan will be attending Anzac Day commemorations in Jerusalem.
A Dawn Service with coalition partners will be attended by personnel deployed in the Middle East, and in Japan personnel will attend a service near Yokosuka.
In South Sudan, NZDF personnel will attend a Dawn Service with Australian and Turkish personnel deployed to the United Nations Mission. The NZDF and Australian Defence Force personnel will also host a combined breakfast to mark and commemorate this occasion with other mission members.
The New Zealand contingent in Korea will have personnel attending dawn services in Seoul, at the War Memorial of Korea. Ten personnel will be observing Anzac Day alongside members of the Australian Defence Force posted to Korea and the United Nations Command, with select personnel involved in the service.
This year the service coincides with the 73rd commemorations of the Battle of Imjin River, and the Battle of Gapyeong, both pivotal engagements for many Commonwealth forces involved in the Korean War.