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Our Day to Remember



The Last Post. Poppies. Wreath laying. ANZAC biscuits.

The growing numbers at ANZAC Day dawn services, and the crowds who flocked to the return of the Unknown Warrior show that now, more than ever, we will remember them.

Our Day To Remember is a documentary that examines the meaning of ANZAC Day, from the end of the Great War to today, and asks why youngsters are leading the charge to commemorate fallen soldiers. And why the grand-children of World War Two veterans are now so keen to learn about the war experience of their forefathers.

The core of the documentary is an emotional return trip to Italy with Gordon, Luciana and Kushla Johnston. The family live in Dunedin.

Gordon was a gunner during the Italian campaign in WWII, and met Luciana (an Italian Nurse) in Trieste where the Kiwis were stationed near the end of the War. On the return journey, their 24 year old grand-daughter Kushla relives the drama and hardship of a campaign that shaped the history of the world and future of her family.

A highlight of the documentary is Gordon’s meeting a group of Italian Partisans and learning how little the Kiwis knew of the atrocities in Trieste under both German and Yugoslav command.

Interwoven with the journey to Trieste are tales of WWI and Vietnam, along with the ebb and flow of ANZAC commemorations from wreath laying ceremonies to anti-war protests in the 60s and 70s. A multi-layered documentary about family, war and remembrance.

Technical Specifications

TV Production

Production Year: 2005

Category: Documentary

Commissioning Broadcaster: TVNZ for TV One

Transmission Date: 25 April 2005

Producer: Gary Scott Director: Michael Hacking

Duration: 1 hour

Outline: This documentary explores the resurgent interest in Anzac Day. Who is the day commemorating? Why do we remember them? What's the history of the day? And why has ANZAC Day been embraced as Our Day – perhaps more so than any other national public holiday?