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Remembering ANZAC in Wellington

April 25th 1915 was the day when the ANZAC soldiers (Australia and New Zealand soldiers) landed on the Gallipoli peninsula to fight the Turks. It was a terrible war which continued for months. 2,779 New Zealand soldiers died at Gallipoli. This year is 100 years since that disastrous event.

Today Wellington begins a week of ANZAC remembrance events. The new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park opens today. The park is in front of the Dominion Museum, Buckle St and will be the centre of ANZAC commemorations.

The Botanic Gardens will remember the 866 soldiers from Wellington who died at Gallipoli. There will be 866 white crosses placed on the Salamanca Lawn in the gardens.

The Dominion Museum has an exhibition on the Great War. It was called the Great War until the 1940s which was the time of The Second World War. Then the Great War of 1914 to 1918 was called The First World War.

Each evening, between 7 and 10pm, a Sound and Light Show will light up the front of the Dominion Museum. The Show is a 15 minute loop and will focus on the battle fields of the First World War, as well showing New Zealand soldiers in peacekeeping regions.

Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshops have created a model of one of the trenches where New Zealand soldiers lived and fought at Gallipoli. This is at Te Papa. The aim is to make this a real-life experience so that visitors can see the terrible conditions that soldiers experienced.

Every town and city in New Zealand will be holding an ANZAC service on April 25th.

Vocabulary

• ANZAC – Australia and New Zealand Army Corps
• peninsula –a finger of land in the sea (Coromandel in New Zealand is a peninsula)
• disastrous (adj), disaster (n) – a terrible, tragic event
• commemoration – a ceremony to remember an important event
• loop – at the end (after 15 minutes), it will start again and repeat