|Photo from: www.defence.gov.au Gallery 2007|
This date was chosen as it represents the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces in World War I. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp.
On April 25, 1915, Aussies and Kiwis formed part of the Allied expedition to capture the Gallipolli peninsula. They went in expecting to claim the peninsula and march to Constantinople, thus capturing the capital of the Ottoman empire. Instead, they met heavy military fire and were trapped by the sea behind them and mountains full of the enemy ahead of them. These soldiers dug in, for eight months, and although 8000 were killed, they left behind a legacy of the strength and determination of the ANZAC troops.
On ANZAC day, not only do we honour these men, but all men and women who have fought in all wars, particularly those who lost their lives.
I'm not one for early starts, but ANZAC day has the tradition of a dawn service, as this was when the troops first mounted the attack on Gallipolli. So, for one day a year, I try not to whinge too much when my alarm bleats at me. I rug up and try not to shiver as the dawn sneaks up on the darkness. I try not to shed tears as we remember those who have fallen, and as I watch those who have returned march along the road in the darkness, old but full of pride. As the bugle plays, and the chills race down my spine, I try to focus on what these men gave to leave me with the country I have today. It's a powerful morning. One I wouldn't miss.
Lest We Forget.