At 11am on 11 November this year, Aotearoa New Zealand marked the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918. On that day 100 years ago, after four years of brutal conflict, war finally gave way to peace.
The First World War had taken a huge toll on New Zealand. Around 100,000 New Zealanders – or ten percent of the population at the time – served overseas during the war, and over 18,000 lost their lives. Families and communities back home felt these losses acutely.
When news of the Armistice reached our shores it was met with thanksgiving, hopefulness and joyous noise.
The Armistice centenary gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the loss and trauma of the First World War, as well as reflect on peace and hope at the centenary of its closure. As well as joining together in remembrance, we can recapture the relief and jubilation of that important day a century ago.
The centenary was marked in events and activities across the country. Below are some of the initiatives through which New Zealanders participated in this historic moment.