On the 11th hour on the 11th day, Palmerston North commemorated Armistice Day with a service at the cenotaph in Te Marae o Hine – The Square.
Armistice Day service commemorates the 1918 signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allies ended fighting in World War I.
The signing marked the end to hostilities amid the 1918 influenza pandemic - a similar situation to what the world is facing today with Covid-19.
Master of ceremonies, retired RNZE Lieutenant Colonel Joe Hollander, who is also chairman of the Palmerston North Anzac Armistice Day organising committee (PNAADOC), says New Zealand's contribution towards the Allied efforts during World War I is acknowledged.
"We commemorate the emergence of the Anzac spirit and sacrifices made by those from Palmerston North, the wider Manawatū and New Zealand as a whole.
"More than 1000 soldiers from this area made the ultimate sacrifice," Hollander says.
The New Zealand History website records that World War I claimed around 18,000 New Zealand lives, either in or because of the war, and a further 41,000 were wounded or became ill.
There were more casualties, as a result of New Zealanders fighting in other Allied forces.
Of those killed, 2779 were at Gallipoli and 12,000 were at the Western Front.
To put these figures in context, in 1914 the population of New Zealand was 1.1 million.
The influenza pandemic killed a further 9000 New Zealanders between October and December 1918.
The gathering was formally welcomed by Mayor Grant Smith and Wiremu Te Awe Awe, of Rangitāne, and the service address was given by Linton Camp Commander 1st Brigade Colonel Stefan Michie.
Palmerston North Boys' High School's John Hopcroft spoke on behalf of local youth.
Hopcroft was placed second in the 2019 speech competition, an event prompting the younger generation to think about the impact of war.
Mayor Grant Smith says such commemorative occasions respect Palmerston North's close New Zealand defence relationships, with Linton Military Camp and RNZAF Base Ohakea in the region.
In 1956, Palmerston North gave the Defence Force the keys to the city in recognition of their contribution to the region and New Zealand.
The 1956 Charters granted Linton Military Camp and the Royal NZ Air Force the right to parade in the city with bayonets fixed, colours flying, drums beating and bands playing.
"It is important successive generations understand the sacrifices made towards the freedoms and lives we are able to live today," Smith says.
Colonel Michie says this year the New Zealand Army is itself acknowledging 175 years of service, having been involved in various and multiple theatres of conflict around the world, including both World Wars, during that time.
"Marking the signing of the Armistice is an important event as we honour the service and sacrifice of all New Zealanders who served during World War I.
"It's also a time to recognise and acknowledge the courage of families of those who served during that turbulent time in our history.
"Our military personnel continue to serve New Zealand in the community, the nation and across the world.
"The challenge of Covid-19, in particular, reminds us of the vital role the NZDF plays in protecting the nation."