Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day

I’m not going to poke fun with this post.   Nor am I going to debate the rights or wrongs of war, of politics or of history. There will no side taking  or finger pointing.   This is a post to simply say thank you.

Today (April 25th) is ANZAC Day. It is a day of national significance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli during World War 1. The site of the landing is now officially known as Anzac Cove. The ensuing battles fought at Gallipoli over the next nine months became known as the Gallipoli campaign and later,  April 25th became the day when the sacrifice of over 8500 Australians and 2700 New Zealanders who gave their lives during the Gallipoli campaign came to be nationally observed in both countries. 

In current times Anzac Day has become a day to remember the contribution of  those who have fought in all wars since Gallipoli.

Around 60,000 troops from both sides of the conflict died during this campaign, and it is estimated there were over 200,000 casualties.

There are not sufficient nor meaningful enough words to thank the people of our two great nations who fought to ensure the continuation of the Australian and New Zealand way of life. The sacrifice these brave young men made to ensure our freedom as democratic countries can never be repaid. The best way we can honour them is to remember. And to remember the men from the opposing forces who died right beside them. When men die in battle they cease to be enemies and should be remembered because they were someone's son, father, or brother  no matter what side they fought for. A loss of a life is as much a loss no matter what the idealogy.

Engraved forever at the  Ataturk Memorial at Anzac cove are the following words. These words were written by a Turkish commander who fought against the allied forces during the Gallipoli campaign and became the first president of the republic of Turkey  and his words are written in  reference to Allied troops who died there.

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now living in the soil of a friendly country therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well"

Thank you Anzacs.


Unknown said...

Thank you for the history lesson. Your post made me think of all of the men and women who have and are fighting for freedom. Thank you for sharing this information.

Baa-Me Kniits said...

Lest We Forget

Marg said...

Those words are so moving. I always get teary during the Ode and the Last Post. I am so glad that more people are honouring Anzac Day now.

Elizabeth said...

So many brave men suffered and sacrificed untold horrors so that we could have freedoms we take for granted. Thanks for remembering and sharing that remembrance.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mrs. P. What a beautiful tribute.