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Hundred-gun salute to mark Centenary of Armistice

A 100-gun salute on the Wellington waterfront in front of Te Papa on Sunday 11 November will launch the commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War in 1918.

The firing is symbolically timed to finish at 11.00am, when the guns fell silent 100 years ago.

The National Ceremony will then observe a two-minute silence at 11.00am, which will be broken by a fanfare of bells, sirens and horns across the city and harbour led by the carillon at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

The ceremony will culminate at Pukeahu with He Wawā Waraki: Roaring Chorus 2018, a 20-minute creative performance that weaves historic text, contemporary poetry, waiata, dance and music in an evocation of the energy, noise and emotion of the moment when war finally gave way to peace.

The ceremony is part of the Government’s official programme of public events that will take place in Wellington, with commemorative activities in communities across the country.

“The Armistice centenary events will remember the immense losses endured throughout the war,” Director of the First World War Centenary Programme WW100, Sarah Davies says.

“They will also look to recapture the celebration and hope that swept many parts of New Zealand that day.

“As the final commemoration of the First World War Centenary, Armistice offers us an opportunity to connect again as a community. We will take time to reflect on the past and our hopes for the future.”

He Wawā Waraki: Roaring Chorus 2018 is directed by choreographer Malia Johnston and includes an original score by composer Eden Mulholland and a specially commissioned poem from Airini Beautrais. It features performances from Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Maisey Rika, Supertonic, Hau Manu ki Te Papa and a 50-strong cast of dancers and drummers.

People everywhere can connect with the centenary by submitting messages of hope, peace or remembrance via text or online, which will be displayed on the Armistice Beacon, a five-metre high digital installation at Pukeahu.

The Armistice Centenary National Ceremony will also be live-streamed via the WW100 Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The Wellington City Council is organising a programme of music performances at Pukeahu on the afternoon of 11 November to acknowledge the Armistice centenary.

The programme of events will end with a Sunset Ceremony, led by the New Zealand Defence Force. This will be a tribute to all New Zealanders who served in the First World War as well as their families and all others impacted by the war. The New Zealand Defence Force Band and military ceremonial personnel bearing the 21 New Zealand Defence Force Regimental, Corps and Unit Colours, Banners, Guidon and Standards will take part.

Details of Armistice centenary events around New Zealand are listed at ww100.govt.nz/armistice-events