Remembering and honouring the sacrifices of our veterans
This Anzac Day was a chance for us to reflect on the effects of a war which touched the lives of every New Zealand family, and honour our veterans’ contribution to the peace, freedom and security our country enjoys today.
Many of you will have attended one of the numerous remembrance services held across Christchurch. This year I attended the dawn service in Heathcote, and was fortunate enough to speak at the Lyttelton Anzac Day Service at Albion Square and the 19th Battalion and Armoured Regiment Service at Victoria Park. I would like to acknowledge the former member of the 19th Battalion and Armoured Regiment Association who had the vision for a memorial to his fallen comrades, and the Christchurch City Council who made available the land this memorial rests on today.
I also attended the Bridge of Remembrance ceremony in Christchurch city. It is wonderful to see this significant piece of Christchurch and Anzac history restored, and I am grateful to those who were part of this restoration process.
Although Anzac Day has now passed, I encourage you all to continue to reflect on our country’s experience of war and military conflict. It is important we honour the more than 18,000 New Zealanders who died and the more than 100,000 who served their country during the Great War. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served our country to protect the ideals we hold dear. Lest we forget.