19 April 2010
Veterans Affairs Minister Judith Collins will this week travel to Turkey to attend the 95th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings. Ms Collins departs on Wednesday and will join the New Zealand contingent which includes the Prime Minister, John Key.
Ms Collins will attend the Dawn Service, the New Zealand National Service and the Australian National Service on ANZAC Day, 25 April. On 24 April she will attend the Commonwealth Service, the Turkish International Memorial Service and the French National Service.
“The Gallipoli campaign, in which New Zealand forces faced a determined opposition, inhospitable terrain and unimaginable hardship, has become a defining event in New Zealand’s history,” Ms Collins said.
“The 95th anniversary will be an opportunity to honour not just those who fought at Gallipoli, but all New Zealanders who have served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.”
Among the New Zealand contingent will be 22 service veterans, each of whom has a family connection to Gallipoli. The veterans were selected by national ballot.
The contingent will also include 21 Year-13 high school students, from throughout New Zealand, selected as a result of a multi-media competition organised by Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand.
“This anniversary will be an extremely significant day of remembrance. It will be my privilege to share the occasion with these two very special groups, and the many other New Zealanders who will participate in the commemorations,” Ms Collins said.
Media contact: Stefan Herrick 04 817 9809 or 021 748 492