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Young Kiwis urged to attend Dawn Ceremonies

22 April 2005

Young Kiwis urged to attend Dawn Ceremonies

Youth Affairs Minister Steve Maharey is encouraging young New Zealanders to head along to a dawn ceremony this Anzac Day to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and New Zealand's involvement in conflicts overseas.

"The dawn ceremony is an important event for young New Zealanders," Steve Maharey said, "not only because it's a way of showing respect for those who have fought at Gallipoli, but also because young people are increasingly seeing Gallipoli as a defining moment in our history."

Steve Maharey said there had been a huge resurgence of interest in Anzac Day in recent years, with much of the interest coming from younger New Zealanders.

"I think the interest reflects a growing sense of cultural identity among young New Zealanders. It's evident in our thriving music industry, our arts community, and of course through the growing interest in this important national event."

Steve Maharey said many of the young people he spoke to considered Gallipoli to be a foundation stone of New Zealand's national identity.

"The immense sacrifice and the courage shown by those who fought on the battlefield have remained with us for nearly a century - I think many young New Zealanders are keen to ensure the traditions around Anzac Day are carried on for generations to come."

ENDS

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