At 11am today, New Zealand marks the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918, ending years of war and ushering in a time of peace.

Thousands of New Zealanders are attending commemorations at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Planned Auckland flyover with three WWI planes before two minutes of silence has been canned because of weather conditions at Ardmore airport.

A 100-gun salute is happening on Wellington waterfront. People are lining the harbors edge to see. The echo of the bangs can be heard at Pukeahu Memorial Park.

Veteran Chris Mullane is the master of ceremonies at the Auckland ceremony.

Rain softly fell on the crowd. Mullane commented when it rained on commemorations it was the tears of the fall.

A two-minute silence followed by a chorus of jubilant sounds
"celebrate peace and hope for the future".

During the jubilant celebration, Auckland churches, Blurred their horns at Devonport.

18,277 white crosses at The Domain in Auckland.

That's one cross for every kiwi life lost in the war.

Among the crosses there is a special section dedicated to the mothers who lost two or more sons. Nine mothers lost four sons, 53 mothers lost three sons, and 638 mothers lost two sons.

100-Gun salute marks the centenary of the armistice that ended WWI
100-Gun salute marks the centenary of the armistice that ended WWI

and 12 Jewish soldiers are thus among those remembered.

Soldiers were well known for their ultimate sacrifice in the war and they were just behind the scenes were often not recognised for their hard work.

Tracey and Katherine Meeten aimed to bring awareness.

They were at commemorations in 1915 "corsets and everything".

"We have British family that served." We do not have any nurses in the family

They have their own uniforms, "Tracey said.

It took 18,277 white crosses at The Domain. Photo / Greg Bowker
It took 18,277 white crosses at The Domain. Photo / Greg Bowker

Poppies adorn the chests of family members here to commemorate relatives who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The sun is shining at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, with hundreds of people already gathered for the National Armistice Centenary ceremony.

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants to pay their respects at The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and speak later in the ceremony.

A five-meter high armistice beacon is displaying messages from people all over New Zealand.

Kiwis were encouraged to send their messages of hope, peace and remembrance.

One message says "I would like to have the lives of those who lived in the world."

Around 100,000 New Zealanders – per cent of the population at the time – served overseas during the war, and over 18,000 lost their lives.


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