It’s a day to show our respect for the spirit of service which sustained this country through its hardest times, and sustains us still.
Our region contributed many men and women towards the efforts of our armed
forces in Gallipoli and other battlefields of World War I. Many more served in World
War II, Korea, Vietnam, and conflicts in the Pacific and around the world.
Being subjects of the Crown under British rule in India, Indians fought gallantly
beside their New Zealand and Australia friends during World War One.
It is estimated that 47,000 Indian soldiers that were killed during the four-year war, with over 65,000 Indians wounded. During the Gallipoli Campaign 1,358 Indian’s lost their lives.
Now, together, we live in New Zealand and spent Anzac Day remembering the men and women who fell before us.
Nowadays, men and women from our community continue to play a part protecting peace, security, and freedom where these are under threat.
In our thoughts are the members of our armed forces who serve overseas. New Zealand personnel are deployed on 14 overseas operations. They are involved in everything from security and truce supervision to border observation – in countries such as Afghanistan, Sudan, and the Solomon Islands.
Also, this year we commemorate the New Zealand Air Force’s 75 years of service. Throughout its history, the RNZAF has contributed to the maintenance of peace through allied contributions in wartime and peacekeeping around the world.
I hope you were able to take part in an Anzac event to recognise our veterans, both Indian and New Zealand, and the young men and women who serve our country today.
I was personally honoured to have taken part in the ANZAC day memorial service and parade organised by the Papatoetoe RSA. Boasting one of the largest commemorative gatherings in New Zealand, I was proud to see both the young and not-so-young honouring our heroes.
This strong attendance by our youngest members is so important and to me this demonstrates that we have a bright future ahead of us, thanks to those who have gone before us.
Lest we forget.