Tens of thousands of New Zealanders attend Anzac dawn services

10:30, April 25, 2010      

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Tens of thousands of New Zealanders turned out at dawn services across New Zealand to remember fallen New Zealand servicemen and women to mark Anzac Day, the 95th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in Turkey.

About 10,000 were outside Auckland War Memorial Museum at the biggest service in the country's largest city.

The New Zealand Transport Agency also flew the Australian flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on request of the Australian Government.

Auckland Mayor John Banks told the service the Gallipoli campaign caused profound misery and palpable grief to New Zealanders and Australians.

In Wellington, an estimated 3000 people attended the ceremony at the capital's cenotaph, where Army chief Major General Rhys Jones said Anzac Day was not a celebration.

"It's not a commemoration of victories that gained independence for our country or a great battle that established our name on the international arena," the New Zealand Press Association quoted him as saying.

"Anzac Day is a time to remember and reflect on the sorrow, loss and sacrifice that is the obligation of nationhood, the cost of liberty and the price of freedom," he added.

Thousands attended services at other towns and cities throughout the country.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae are both at Gallipoli, where they attended the Turkish International Service Saturday night.

Key will attend the Anzac dawn service at Gallipoli on Sunday.

It's 95 years since the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli, in Turkey, on April 25, 1915.

More than 2700 New Zealand troops died during the eight-month campaign.

Source: Xinhua


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