Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.
The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The word Anzac is part of the culture of New Zealanders and Australians. People talk about the ‘spirit of Anzac’; there are Anzac biscuits, and rugby or rugby league teams from the two countries play an Anzac Day test. The word conjures up a shared heritage of two nations, but it also has a specific meaning.
Anzac is the acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Today, the word was used to describe all Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought on the Gallipoli Peninsula and eventually, it came to mean any Australian or New Zealand soldier.
The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. People in many countries wear the poppy to remember those who died in war or who still serve. In many countries, the poppy is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day, 25 April.
Remembrance or Lest we forget is engraved on monuments to fallen soldiers in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them. Lest We Forget.
More about Anzac Day