On this day 99 years ago Australian and New Zealand Soldiers, known as ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed on the beaches of Gallipoli. Against all odds the ANZACs landed under very difficult conditions and gained a tenuous foothold. Thought the campaign only lasted about eight months, the ANZACs proved to demonstrate courage, endurance, initiative, discipline, and mateship. Since that day Australian Soldiers have served in the tradition established by those original ANZACs.
The 25th of April each year is ANZAC Day, where Australians across the country come to remember the sacrifice that Australian Soldiers have made in war and peacekeeping. It is not about the war or conflict, but remembering those that have served and sacrificed. Those that have taken the traditional of the original ANZACs and selflessly served to defend Australia, freedom and the Australian way of life.
Today I spent some time travelling to the country towns of Cooma and Bega, where the Squadron I work with assisted in the ANZAC Day Services. The soldiers did a great job at each of the services and the communities they served were grateful. One of the great things about the ANZAC Day Services in country towns is the way all elements of the community get involved in the service and support the veterans. It was touching to see all ages turn out to support the veterans, from the school aged children marching behind the veterans, to the various sporting clubs, business groups and clubs laying wreaths.
I think that the day is summed up in the Ode of Remembrance:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we Forget