Anzac Day this year has been a more sombre and poignant commemoration than usual for various reasons, local and international.
A wet morning around much of the country greeted veterans and members of the public, with the Covid-19 pandemic again affecting Anzac events.
Some dawn services were cancelled to avoid putting returned servicepeople at risk of getting infected.
Auckland Domain's dawn service was kept smaller than usual and Wellington's commemorations did not include a parade. Services were held mid-morning in Christchurch and Wellington.
Aside from the pandemic, another major international event, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, was a background presence, a reminder that vicious conflict can upend people's lives and turn civilised cities into broken war zones in a matter of weeks.
A Ukrainian flag flew from the top of the Auckland War Memorial Museum at the request of the RSA yesterday. Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the flag was "a reminder that people are out there still fighting for their freedom and independence".
The war in Ukraine makes the idea of a foreign, European conflict that the rest of the world has a stake in, suddenly real, contemporary and unsettling rather than historical.
It's not World War III, but it has drawn in a lot of other countries - including New Zealand - trying to influence the outcome. The impact of Russia's invasion is being felt in fuel and food prices around the world and reshaped security and energy policies.
The reality of war with its hollowed-out buildings, burned and abandoned tanks and atrocities against civilians has been shown to the world in unvarnished detail.
And an exodus of people the size of the entire population of New Zealand has emptied out of Ukraine.
A lot of Kiwis would have enjoyed the chance to get out and about for the second long weekend in a row and some would have combined the two to snatch an extended break while the weather is still mostly good.
But the weekend has been heartbreaking this year for the Bluff and Invercargill communities after four teenagers were killed in one crash on Friday afternoon. The boys died when their ute and a concrete truck collided in Queens Drive, Invercargill.
People have been donating funds on Givealittle pages to help the families of the victims. The teens were former members of Southland Boys' High School.
Including the Invercargill crash, 10 people died over the weekend to Sunday night, including three motorcyclists.
North Shore, Rodney and West Auckland police posted on Facebook: "Let that sink in ... 10 people won't be going home to their families. And 10 families will be grieving a huge loss."
They advised: "Slow down – take your time and take breaks. Wear your seatbelt, don't drive impaired by drugs, alcohol, or fatigue, and never drive distracted – keep your focus on the road."
Travelling at off-peak times, using buses, or avoiding driving on busy main roads on a known busy traffic weekend are other options.
The Easter road toll of four was down compared to last year's nine. But so far this year to Saturday, 117 people had died on the country's roads, an increase from 103 last year at the same time.
Some of the extra Anzac solemnity this weekend couldn't be avoided due to events outside our control. But road deaths on busy holidays are often tragedies that could have been avoided.