The New Zealand Defence Force chief was heartened to see a large crowd turn up to commemorate Anzac Day in the capital.
About 10,000 attended the dawn service at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington.
Air Marshal Kevin Short said it was a reminder of how many people cared about the country's servicemen and women.
He said the services were becoming more popular.
"Over the last few years you've seen people wearing their grandfather's, great-grandfather's medals and they realise that generation is dying out and the only way to keep remembering is actually come along, commemorate, be with the rest of New Zealand and acknowledge those that have served.
"So I think it's actually brought people out."
Short said the willingness to serve one's country remained as strong as it was during past wars.
"I look at those that served then and their loyalty and willingness to serve and I don't think that's changed either for anybody in uniform, I think it's the same understanding about what it means to put on the uniform and represent your country.
"Whatever task we have to do."