Nothing embodies the spirit of service more than the Anzacs who fought on the frontline in a conflict far from home on the other side of the world.
The thing that united the Anzacs was a belief that they were involved in something much bigger than themselves. Thousands of Kiwi soldiers died serving their country. Fighting for a higher purpose.
That sense of duty, or spirit of service, is very powerful. New Zealanders in cities and towns across the country are united in commemorating Anzac Day, which is why attendances at Anzac Day dawn services continue to grow every year. It’s why April 25th has become more than a commemoration for those who lost their lives at Gallipoli. At yesterday’s dawn services we saw current members of the New Zealand Defence Force marching alongside Boy Scouts and Girl Guides and thousands of young people and school children turning out to show their respects. They feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Thankfully most public servants today do not have to go through the hell that was Gallipoli. Nothing can ever compare with what happened there.
Something I’ve always admired in those that serve in our defence force is their unwavering belief in the person fighting or standing alongside them. We need this same level of trust and confidence in our colleagues and teams across the Public Service.
Some public servants, especially those in the New Zealand Defence Force, Fire and Emergency Services and New Zealand Police, often face dangerous and even life-threatening situations. But there are many other noble ways of serving. The courage to take a stand on an issue of integrity. Championing a better way of working. Going the extra mile to make a difference to one person’s or a family’s life.
If there is one thing all public servants have in common with Anzacs, whether they wear a uniform not, it is a unifying spirit of service.
It’s an honour to serve your country and fellow New Zealanders. What better way to remember this than Anzac Day.