Today in my part of the world, it is ANZAC Day. Every year this falls on the same day, 25th April.
This Day of Remembrance is held by Australians and New Zealanders alike, and as an Australian living in New Zealand, I cannot help but feel blessed to be to be a part of our world and part of two cultures united by history.
This Day commemmorates those members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought so long ago and so far from home at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. In more recent years, it also honours service men and women who died and served for their country. This is a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same remembrance day, but making reference to both countries in its name.
This day holds great significance in both countries, and is marked historically as the ‘coming of age’ of both Australia and New Zealand all those years ago. Everywhere around the world where Australians or New Zealanders gather, you will find a commemmoration held today. Indeed, many villages and towns across Europe also remember our ANZACS for the selfless service during 2 World Wars.
At the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, ANZAC Parade, Canberra you will find this inscription, written by Kemnal Atatürk, the first President of modern Turkey in 1934, as tribute to the ANZACs killed at Gallipoli:
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying 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 now 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.”
~ LEST WE FORGET~
Today’s ANZAC Day Dawn Service in my home town is shown in the video link here