Anzac Day 2021

Anzac Day 2021

25 April 2021

Anzac Day is observed on 25th April every year, and in 2021 the public holiday is observed on Monday 26th April. Anzac Day commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. This military campaign is often claimed to have played an important part in fostering New Zealand's sense of national identity. Many New Zealanders feel a strong connection to this event, through family and whānau stories. Anzac Day offers every New Zealander the chance to consider the impact of the First World War and remember those who served.

We may remember that last year in 2020, New Zealand/Aotearoa was in COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and therefore commemorations were cancelled. Instead, New Zealanders were encouraged to Stand at Dawn at their front gates holding a candle, torch or poppy in memory of those who had served or were still serving.

Our children in care may have ancestors/tupuna that fought in war that connects them to this commemoration.  We may therefore consider how we support children in an early childhood setting to learn about Anzac Day – visits to the library, sourcing appropriate images, or making paper poppies are all ways we can spark a discussion.  Finding out from families/whānau if they have ancestors that fought in war, or who may still be serving, provides an opportunity for children to bring in photos and to share a story about them.

They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old

Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.