A day to honour Anzacs of all erasVeterans' Affairs
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Judith Collins today paid tribute to veterans of all eras who have served New Zealand in the name of peace and freedom.
Ms Collins joined veterans and members of the public in commemorating Anzac Day at services in Papakura and at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
“On this special day, we pay tribute to those who stepped ashore at Gallipoli 96 years ago and who will forever be in our memory,” she said.
“Those men, many of whom did not survive the Gallipoli campaign, or who were badly wounded, helped forge the Anzac spirit that lives on in New Zealanders and Australians today.
“We saw this during the recent Christchurch earthquake and Queensland floods when emergency services personnel from both countries worked shoulder to shoulder to help victims.
“Today is also about acknowledging those men and women who have served our country since Gallipoli, both in times of conflict and peace.
“We pay tribute to veterans, both young and old, particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their life for our country in the continued pursuit of peace and freedom.
“We are eternally grateful to these men and women, and we owe it to them to honour their commitment not only today, but in the future.”
Ms Collins paid tribute to the more than 400 New Zealand defence personnel who are deployed on 14 peacekeeping operations, United Nations missions and defence exercises around the world.
“We hold these servicemen and women and their families in our thoughts, and look forward to their safe return home.
“Their efforts remind us that peace and stability do not just happen. We must still stand with our friends in the name of peace and humanity and uphold the character of those who stepped ashore at Gallipoli all those years ago.
“Every conflict must end, but our duty to remember never will.”