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The 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces in New Zealand during WWII

The 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces in New Zealand during WWII

The 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces in New Zealand during WWII

The eTV 'Making History' competition. For more details visit makinghistory.etv.org.nz.

2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the arrival of American forces in New Zealand during WWII.  With so few veterans left the Embassy has decided this is an important anniversary to commemorate and will be marking it with a series of events during May and June this year.  This will include Memorial Day events, a visiting Marine Corps historian, official NZ Government commemorations and the visit of a Marine Corps band.  The coverage will be showcased across the various embassy social media channels (links to the right), with links to all updates right here on this page dedicated to the 70th Anniversary.

Also marking the occasion is the eTV 'Making History' competition. For more details visit makinghistory.etv.org.nz.

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band New Zealand Tour

The U.S. Marine Forces Pacific (or MARFORPAC) Band is based in Hawaii and has been around since 1918.  The band is made up of 50 highly trained Marines from across the USA and travels throughout the Pacific region providing music for ceremonies and public concerts.  It plays a little bit of everything from military to jazz to rock and is visiting New Zealand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the U.S. forces arriving in New Zealand in 1942.

The band will play public concerts in Wellington, Waiouru, Hamilton, Auckland and Christchurch. [find out more/tour dates]

Ambassador Huebner's Blog:

June 18 - Celebrating Independence, Friendship, and Service.

June 14 – From The Oral History Diary Of Private Bob Hatch, Us Marine Corps, 14 June 1942.

June 13 – 70th Anniversary Stamps.

June 12 – 70th Anniversary Coins.

May 28 - Remembering The Fallen On Memorial Day.

Today Frank Zalot Jr. came back for the first time to the place he saw 10 of his shipmates drown on a dreadful day in 1943.

This Memorial Day the people of Kapiti Coast on the North Island of New Zealand unveiled a memorial to the 10 U.S. sailors who died during a training exercise while trying to come ashore on June 20, 1943. About 350 people, including Charge d’Affaires Marie Damour and a U.S. Marine Color guard, were there for the dedication of the memorial, sculptured into the shape of a landing craft, close to the waters where the tragedy occured. [read entire post]

May 11 - Remembering 1942.

I’m going to paint you a picture. It’s 1942. Mrs. Miniver has won best picture at the 14th Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Glenn Miller rules the charts with ‘String of Pearls’, ‘Midnight Cocktail’ and ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’, a gold disc winning single selling 1 million copies. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Yankees to win the World Series. ‘Archie’ comic books make their debut. Casablanca will be released later in the year and earn an iconic place in cinematic history. [read entire post]

April 23 - Secondary School Video Competition: Bringing NZ-US Historical Links to Life.

In collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force, Archives New Zealand, Auckland War Memorial Museum, and educational resource platform eTV, the Embassy is launching a video history competition for secondary school students to commemorate events in 1942 that changed the world. [read entire post] [competition page]

Latest News and Releases:

June 18 - Independence Day Celebrations, Auckland.

June 18 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Performance at the Bruce Mason Centre.

June 18 - Medal Presentation Ceremony, Devonport RSA.

June 16 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Welcome to Tainui Endowed College.

June 16 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Performance at Turangawaewae.

June 15 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Powhiri welcome and performance at Waiouru Army Camp.

June 14 - 70th Anniversary of the arrival of US Forces in New Zealand - Parliament Reception.

June 14 -  The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Sunset ceremony, forecourt of Parliament.

June 14 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Wreath Laying at the National War Memorial.

June 14 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Civic Square, Wellington.

June 13 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Old St Paul’s, Wellington.

June 12 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - the Carterton RSA.

June 12 - The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Concert at Wairarapa College, Masterton.

June 11: Independence Day event in Wellington.

June 11: The MARFORPAC Band NZ Tour - Te Rauparaha Arena, Parumoana Street, Porirua.

June 10: The MARFORPAC Band New Zealand Tour - Public concert at Southwards Car Museum, Paraparaumu.

May 28: 2012 Memorial Day Service, Old St. Paul's, Wellington.

May 28: Photos from The Kapiti US Marines Trust 70th Anniversary Memorial Day Service.

May 28: Blog post on the Department of States's Official blog - DipNote.

May 27: U.S. Memorial Day was commemorated at Auckland Museum for the 64th year running.

May 26: The Dominion Post newspaper Supplement - Salute 70

May 25: Presidential Proclamation -- Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2012.

May 23: U.S. Ambassador David Huebner welcomed today’s Prime Ministerial announcement that the New Zealand Government will host a number of official events on 14 June in remembrance of U.S. forces arriving in New Zealand during WWII.

April 23: Making U.S.-NZ historical links come alive.

April 10: U.S. Ambassador David Huebner today joined Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman in welcoming U.S. military personnel to New Zealand to exercise with their counterparts.