Dawn salute to Anzacs brings Kiwis together

All over the country, thousands join veterans at services to commemorate Gallipoli landings.

Communities came together at dawn services around the country yesterday to honour and remember Anzacs.

Thousands turned out at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, including war veterans who marched on to the Court of Honour.

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The service opened with the sounds of the wooden Maori trumpet, the pukaea, and the hymn Abide with Me.

Mayor Len Brown placed a wreath on the cenotaph to remember "all who have fallen, and all who have served".

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In Christchurch, 2000 people gathered in Cranmer Square for the dawn parade.

Among the readings was one delivered by Bryan Shankland VRD (volunteer reserve decoration) of the Canterbury Malaya Veterans Association.

He gave the Anzac remembrance where he paid tribute to the relationship between Kiwi and Australian soldiers.

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Today, he said, was about remembering "the sacrifices others have made so we can enjoy the principles and freedoms we have inherited".

About 5000 paid their respects at the Wellington Cenotaph, where soldiers wore replica 1914 uniforms created by film-maker Sir Peter Jackson.

It's the last Anzac ceremony to be held there before moving to the new National Memorial Precinct next year.

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In Mt Maunganui, two vintage trainer planes flew over the assembled crowd as the Anzac Day parade left the Cenotaph.

Six thousand gathered in Whangarei, where it was announced that an additional 110 names will be added to the Whangarei World War I memorial after a search of records revealed the previously un-named men.

The dawn service in Rotorua at Muruika urupa (cemetery) at Ohinemutu, finished with a touching tribute as those assembled gave veterans from World War II, Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam and others, a round of applause as they marched out of the cemetery.

In Wanganui, the service was marred by the death of an elderly man, who suffered a heart attack and collapsed.

The crowd of about 4000 at the Hastings dawn service was bigger than last year's, which RSA Hastings president Trevor Hardie put down to interest building in the lead-up to the Gallipoli Centenary next year.

Veronique Tatoue, formerly of France, became a New Zealand citizen five months ago and decided to experience her first Anzac dawn service at Martinborough.

"It's my first time, because I am a Kiwi now. I was very touched to get the citizenship, so I think it was my job to be here today," she said.

Meanwhile, on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, thousands of New Zealanders and Australians were at the dawn service, where the Governor- General, Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, and Minister of Veteran Affairs Michael Woodhouse represented New Zealand.

- APNZ

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