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Anzac Day services cancelled but lights and web initiatives to commemorate the fallen

Published: 19 March 2020

In support of The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association’s (RNZRSA’s) decision to cancel all public commemorative events on 25 April and to postpone its national Poppy Day Appeal because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Auckland Council will no longer bring services and parades to the Auckland region on Anzac Day.

Mayor Phil Goff supports the RNZRSA decision, saying it is in the best interest of all Aucklanders.

“Anzac Day is one of New Zealand’s most important national commemorative ceremonies. The decision to cancel services and parades this year is a difficult one, but ultimately it was a necessary call given the risks of further spread of COVID-19. We are in an unprecedented situation, one that will require many changes to how we do things.

“However, while we will not hold public gatherings on Anzac Day this year, it is important that we still take time to reflect on the servicemen and servicewomen, past and present, and honour their courage and self-sacrifice in serving our country,” he says.

He says Vector Lights for Anzac Day will shine poppy-red on the Auckland Harbour Bridge from Tuesday 21 to Saturday 25 April. The Light Path will light up in red on those evenings also, while Auckland War Memorial Museum will shine in a uniform display of red light from dusk Fri 24 until dawn Sun 26 April, all as a commemorative tribute to this important day.

Auckland War Memorial Museum has cancelled the programme of free events they bring the city each Anzac Day within the Museum. In its place the Museum invites people to visit their Online Cenotaph and discover more about New Zealand’s history and involvement in WWI and WWII and lay a digital poppy in remembrance of a loved one and all New Zealanders who have fallen in service.

Auckland War Memorial Museum remains a touchstone of remembrance for families and returned service personnel who wish to honour their loved ones and comrades this Anzac Day while following the government’s guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.

Mayor Phil Goff says, “Anzac Day will be very different this year. But the bravery and service of our armed forces, past and present, will not be forgotten. Like the wartime generation, it is important that we join together and support each other as we face these new challenges.”

To find out how Aucklanders can commemorate Anzac Day without public gatherings this year, Auckland Council encourages you to visit ourauckland.nz/anzacday as Saturday 25 April draws nearer.

For up to date information about COVID-19 visit covid19.govt.nz and for information on Auckland Council’s response to the virus visit OurAuckland.nz

Read more: COVID-19

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