New Zealand News
ANZAC Day 2020
Anzac Day is the solemn day of remembrance of those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who have fought and died for their country. It is marked annually on 25 April, the anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War.
In 1915, in an attempt to relieve their ally, Imperial Russia, the British and Colonial forces attacked the Gallipoli Peninsula in the European area of Turkey. The battle lasted for eight months and suffered huge casualties on both sides – over 44,000 Allied forces were killed, including 2,721 from New Zealand (after 8,556 NZ men landed).
The red poppy is an international flower of remembrance. Around the world, many wear it on Armistace/Remembrance Day, 11 November, but in New Zealand and Australia it is more often worn on Anzac Day, 25 April!
Each year on Anzac day, military and returned servicemen and servicewomen march to their local memorial for a Dawn Service where hymns are sung, speeches made and wreaths laid. Later in the morning there is also an Anzac Parade in most towns and cities. Many young people wear their grandparents’ medals as a show of respect and pride. This year, in 2020, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic and a state of national lockdown in New Zealand, the traditional ANZAC Day celebrations were cancelled for the first time since 1915.
In a mark of solidarity, community spirit, and to remember those who gave their lives, New Zealanders woke at 5.55am to stand on their balconies, driveways and at their gates to observe 1 minutes silence as a mark of respect for the fallen soldiers.