7 November 2018
Nearly 300 New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will gather in Wellington to support the centenary of the Armistice, which ended the First World War, on Sunday, 11 November.
Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short said the NZDF had led the planning and delivery of seven overseas First World War military commemorations, following in the footsteps of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
“The Sunset Ceremony will bring the elements of all seven of the overseas commemorations home to Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, which is the focus of our domestic commemorations and the final resting place of our Unknown Warrior,” Air Marshal Short said.
“At home, NZDF personnel have supported more than 1500 community events since 2015. It’s been humbling to see the way communities all over New Zealand have come together to reflect and remember the First World War and its terrible impact.”
On Armistice Day, NZDF personnel are supporting community-based events all around the country, including in Auckland.
Armistice Day 2018 will begin at 5.45am with the dressing of the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior with his medals and the Remembrance Wreath, which will be the only official wreath laid during the national Armistice commemorations in Wellington.
At about 10.50am 16 Field Regiment, Royal Regiment of the New Zealand Artillery, will fire a 100-gun salute supporting the Armistice Centenary National Ceremony in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park from Wellington’s waterfront near Museum of New Zealand Te Papa. The guns will fall silent at 11am, as they did 100 years ago.
At 7.30pm the NZDF Band and personnel carrying the NZDF’s 21 Queen’s and Regimental colours, guidon, banners and standards will fill Pukeahu for the Sunset Ceremony marking the end of the First World War.
It will reflect on the First World War Centenary through music and ceremony, paying tribute to all those affected by war.
The final daily Last Post ceremony, which has been conducted every night since Anzac Day 2015, will feature the playing of the Rouse for the only time, symbolising that mourning is over and normal life can continue.
The 100-Gun Salute and the Sunset Ceremony will be live-streamed on the NZDF Facebook page www.facebook.com/NZDefenceForce.