25 April 2019
Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short has paid tribute to those who have lost their lives serving in military conflicts and acknowledged the sacrifices New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel make today in the service of their country.
“Anzac Day is a special and solemn day when we respectfully remember and reflect on the service and sacrifice of all New Zealanders who have served in military conflicts,” Air Marshal Short said.
“We also acknowledge the service of NZDF personnel deployed on missions to support global peace and security, and all our personnel who make sacrifices in the service of their country.”
One of the best ways to honour the memory and legacy of those who fought in Gallipoli and in more recent conflicts is to respect and care for veterans, and continue to uphold the values and beliefs held by New Zealanders, he said.
“We no longer have First World War veterans living among us. The last of the Second World War veterans are slipping away and we are losing others from more recent conflicts in Korea, Malaya and Vietnam.
“There are, though, many young veterans from Bougainville, East Timor, Afghanistan and elsewhere who also require and deserve our help and support.”
NZDF personnel were supporting 328 Anzac Day services around New Zealand, and at official commemorations in Gallipoli, he said.
Some would have travelled back to their home towns to spend Anzac Day in their communities so they could support services close to home. This was also a way of acknowledging the respect communities have for their service people, he said.
“I thank all those New Zealanders who get up in the dark and go to Anzac Day services all around the country and overseas to pay their respects to those killed in war, and to honour our returned servicemen and women, and those currently serving.”