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ANZAC days goes beyond the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in Gallipoli. It’s the day on which we remember those who served and died in war. The spirit of ANZAC continues to shape our national identity, with its qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice still holding meaning and relevance in society today. To experience the true meaning of ANZAC, we recommend these top 5 war memorials where you can pay tribute to our New Zealand troops who lost their lives in war.

New Zealand

Pretty much every town has a memorial, usually in the main street. It forms part of our lives with more than 500 public memorials on display across the country. The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park holds a dawn service on ANZAC day to honour our New Zealand soldiers who lost their lives during the war.  While you’re there, make sure you check out the historic buildings and artwork which have their own unique stories to tell.

poppy fields

Image from Flickr user: Pamela Kelly

Australia

Visit the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and attend a dawn service, national ceremony or last post ceremony. It’s an opportunity to commemorate the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The memorial is a place where you can discover the experiences of war and truly connect with those who served in the army. A world-class museum that will give you insight into what it was like to fight for your country.

australian war memorial

Image from Flickr user: Edward Dalmulder

Turkey

The majority of soldiers who fought during the First World War landed at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula. It became the main base for Australian and New Zealand army troops for around 8 months during the Gallipoli campaign. It’s a popular memorial site but will leave you with an eerie and stomach-churning feeling – taking you back to one of the most deadly battlefields of all time. Thousands of people will camp out for the ANZAC Day dawn service to pay their respects to the famous and disastrous landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli.

London

We must not forget about the animals who served in the military during the First World War. Horses, dogs and pigeons were among our many furry friends who were employed to carry bombs, guns and wagons. There is an Animals in War Memorial in London to pay tribute to those 8 million animals who served, suffered and died in war and often in the most inhumane ways possible like starvation, dehydration and bloody wounds.

France

On 25 April, a ceremony is held at the Le Quesnoy New Zealand Memorial in France to pay our respects to Kiwis who lost their lives in war. You’ll notice streets are named after New Zealand places, with a New Zealand memorial and even a primary school named after a New Zealand soldier. There’s a small exhibition which has documents, photos and other memorabilia on display to showcase New Zealand’s involvement during this period. Be sure to expect a warm and friendly welcome from the locals.

eternal flame

Image from Flickr user: Chris Phutully

The conflict more than 100 years ago continues to touch our lives. ANZAC day is a time for us to commemorate, remember and learn from those who sacrificed their lives. Wear your red poppy on Tuesday 25 April to remember those who died in war and those who still serve today.

 

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