The Covid-19 lockdown took away the Anzac Day dawn parades, but New Zealanders did not let the pandemic stop them from paying their respects to our war heroes.
Up and down the country, respecting social distancing rules, Kiwis were "united apart", gathering by their letterboxes and at the end of their driveways for a unique dawn service.
Together, apart, we stood at dawn, and we did remember them.
In a broadcast address this morning, Defence Minister Ron Mark said many of the usual Anzac Day activities couldn't take place this year under lockdown. However, there was still plenty Kiwis could do to mark the day.
"Pause, reflect, pay our respects and give thanks to those who gave so much not just 105 years ago at Gallipoli, or the six long years of the Second World War but for every conflict and ever operation which we have been involved with since them. We owe them that it is a privilege to do so," Mark said.
"This Anzac Day look after each other, remember, commemorate and give thanks - but inside your bubble," he said.
Mark spoke to the ongoing relationship of "mateship" with Australia, "binding us today as ever".
"While it was forged on the beach of Gallipoli, in the years since we have served together all over the world."
"We should be and are proud of that relationship, and strength we give each other."
We should look back on that of our soldiers to draw inspiration in the new battle against Covid-19, Mark said.
The measures we'd taken to combat Covid-19 had "turned our lives upside down", but the Influenza Epidemic of 1918, which struck in the same year as World War I ended, provided a "terrible" reminder of what could have happened.
Mark spoke of a training camp near his home at Featherston, where 2500 men became sick from influenza, and 172 died over a few short weeks.
In all, about 9000 New Zealanders were killed, adding to the more than 18,000 who soldiers killed in the war.
"Today as we work to face the ongoing challenge we should look back on the strength and endurance shown during battles such as 'Bloody Passchendaele' in 1915 ... and many more since.
"As Minister of Defence I am very proud of our defence force, and thank all those working during this current crisis.
"As always, they stand ready to do more, as they have always done, to step in threats to national wellbeing and safety, while lending aid and support to our Pacific neighbours and friends.
"Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a rātou. Lest we forget."
Veterans, despite not being able to gather alongside their peers, donned their uniforms and medals, just as they would for official public Anzac Day gatherings.
In Wellington, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stood at her driveway outside Premier House at dawn, with father Ross and partner Clarke Gayford.
She earlier urged all Kiwis to do so if they could, saying it was important to pay tribute to those who lost their lives and those who served.
In a special address this morning, she told the nation today would be an "Anzac Day that hasn't been done before".
"It is an important tradition spanning generations, acknowledging those who served our country and sacrificed their all.
"Things are different this year but we are united by our respect for veterans and service personnel.
"Individual acts of commemoration – that is what will form our collective tribute.
"But so do our acts every day. We are a nation that has had its character defined by many things, but one is the sacrifice of others."
Ardern referenced those who lost their lives, the 140,000 men and women who served overseas, and those on the home front.
"These figures will never be abstract. Each represents a father, mother, brother, friend afflicted by conflict."
Today would involve finding new ways of remembering, but the purpose remained the same.
"Today we honour the Anzac commitment and reflect on enduring hopes for peace in a world that does not ask for sacrifice of war but instead asks for a commit to empathy kindness, and shared humanity.
"May we remember that as we stand together this Anzac Day.
"Lest we forget."
Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, it is first time in history Anzac Day dawn ceremonies have not taken place.
David Sutherland and his wife Sue had often attended dawn services, although they admitted "not every year".
But this year, they felt it was "especially important".
As the day dawned, David stepped out onto his driveway in the Christchurch suburb of Hillmorton, adorned in his father's World War II medals - earned through serving as a medic in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, during the United States-led campaign against the Japanese.
For about 10 minutes, David said he stood there, taking in the moment, with one other person in sight across the road also paying their respects. But as he stepped onto the street, he noticed half a dozen more neighbours, standing alone, but together.
"It was quite emotional. I am really glad I decided to participate.
"I am 81 now, so I guess everything is getting more emotional, but having done a lot of work in the community, with everything that is going on, I thought it was important to support the efforts of those who have done all of this work to keep us the way we are today."
In the deep south it was a cold and rainy morning, with temperatures dropping into single digits, but this did not dissuade a hearty police officer paying his respects.
Senior Constable Reuben Boniface, in a short-sleeve police uniform, stood atop the Fire & Emergency NZ Station Tower at Invercargill Station and performed the bagpipes at dawn.
A video of the performance shared to social media has received the adoration of hundreds from across the country.
"Well done Reuben - hope you got a hot coffee after that. It was a dreadful early morning weather-wise eh!" commented one person.
• To make a donation to the RSA visit this Givealittle page
• Join us for the virtual Anzac Day Dawn Service from 6am on Saturday at nzherald.co.nz or Newstalk ZB
• Print out our special Anzac Day poster, pin it in your window and help us line the streets with poppies.