Early, dense fog folds itself back this morning to reveal a mirror-glass sea. Every boat sits in respectful stillness on this Anzac Day. A day that is embedded in our New Zealand culture.

Cars hum to and fro across the Harbour Bridge. Many coming and going from Dawn Services where our soldiers are honoured and remembered. Just about everyone in New Zealand and Australia knows someone with a father or grandfather who served or lost their lives on the shores of Gallipoli on this day, April 25.

A friend's father served during the Gallipoli Campaign. He used to receive parcels from home which included magazines. I remember my friend's Dad chuckling, telling me that all the women's underwear ads were cut out of the mags as he was deemed too young to see such things. But not deemed too young to lay in blood-soaked trenches or watch his fellow soldiers, mates, die.

Such a paradox and, as delightful as the personal stories like my friend's Dad's are, nothing makes war palatable.

Today we pin red poppies to our chests (actually I have mine in my hair as I lace up my walking shoes to go out, breathe the fresh air and be grateful for being alive) in remembrance of those brave young men.

Lest we forget.