He tao huata e taea te karo,
Il tao na Aitua, e kore.
“The spear thrust can be parried; never that of Death”
Ata atamarie e koutou I te atatu.
I thank the Honorable Grant Robertson, Deputy Prime Minister
His Excellency Hardiner Sidhu, High Commissioner for Australia
His Excellency Omur Unsay, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
Nicola Willis MP, representing the opposition
His Honor Andy Foster, Mayor of Wellington
Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of Defense Forces
Andrew Bridgeman, Secretary of Defense
Bernadette Cavanagh, Director General, Ministry of Culture and Heritage
Fiona Cassidy, acting president of the National War Memorial Advisory Council
BJ Clark, President of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association
Theo Kuper, President, Wellington Returned and Services Association; and
Willie Apiata, VC
Greetings to all on this holy day, as we gather for our traditional Anzac Day Dawn Service. I especially thank our veterans – those who are here with us today and those who are here in spirit – wherever you are across the country.
I am proud to have as part of my title, Commander-in-Chief. Today we also recognize members of the New Zealand Defense Force who are deployed overseas, often working in dangerous and complex situations requiring the utmost sensitivity, skill and attention.
Every New Zealander who has served our country in war or conflict deserves our utmost respect – today and every day. Let us pay tribute to our brave service personnel and all those who have lost their lives in service to New Zealand.
Every year, on Anzac Day, we think back to the landing of New Zealand troops in Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.
For more than a century, this brave but perilous advance into an unknown and hostile landscape has remained a potent symbol of horror and cost to us as a nation. This cost is especially measured in the lives forever changed by the experience of the destructive powers of war, as witnessed by today’s conflicts.
The effects of the First World War and the conflicts that followed have been felt from generation to generation. The loss of loved ones, friends or colleagues; the struggles of those who have changed and are marked by their experiences; lasting effects on labor and the economy; the contributions of refugee communities – in many ways the war has impacted the lives of generations of New Zealanders.
When New Zealand first celebrated Anzac Day on April 25, 1916, it was hoped the commemoration would be the first of many. More than a century later, we can see that those hopes have come true.
These early Anzac Days during the First World War provided an opportunity to extol the virtues of national unity, imperial loyalty and volunteerism. After the war, the emphasis shifted more to commemoration and the expression of deep sadness.
Over the decades, the thoughts expressed on Anzac Day have been a touchstone of how we see ourselves as a nation – including the ideals of selflessness during the Great Depression, the questions posed by the movements protests of the 1960s and the renewed interest in our military. passed in recent decades.
Anzac Day in 2022 finds us weary of the stresses of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and witnessing disturbing new discord across the world.
We feel deeply for those suffering in the current conflicts. For them, the simple joys of normal life – home and family, work and friends – have been replaced by the daily struggle to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Their new reality is one of trauma, grief and displacement.
Although there are many things that we as individuals are powerless to change, as the light of a new day spreads over Pukeahu and Aotearoa, we can decide to continue to be there for each other. others and for all those affected by war and conflict. – past and present.
On Anzac Day, a shared commemoration brings us together in peace and unity – and we feel the strength and comfort of this connection.
We remember nations with whom we have shared the experience of war, whether as friend or foe.
Memorials here at Pukeahu bear witness to our shared military histories and enduring friendships – and they remind us that the best weapons against hatred and division will always be decency, compassion and understanding.
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou – we will remember them
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