Traditionally, ANZAC Day is the day we remember soldiers who died during the First World War. This war was a terrible tragedy for a small country of just over 1 million people in those days, as 18,000 men were killed. However, ANZAC Day is a day for remembering all New Zealand soldiers who died while fighting wars. New Zealand has sent soldiers overseas to fight in other wars: the Second World War, Vietnam War and the Korean War.
New Zealand soldiers have been involved in peace-keeping in many places in the last 60 years: Bosnia from 1992 to 2007, Timor-Leste from 1999 to 2012 and both the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan for the last 10 years. Ten New Zealand soldiers died in Afghanistan.
Fifteen New Zealand soldiers are serving with United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East and in other hot spots.
The New Zealand Defence Force has almost 9,000 people in the army, navy and air force. Now that we have finished in Afghanistan, the UN is likely to ask New Zealand for more peace-keepers.
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• traditionally – custom, the way something has always been done
• hot spots – countries where there is civil war
• Defence Force – army, navy, air force who defend a country