At dawn on April 25, 1915, the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) went ashore at Gallipoli – on a beach the Turkish government would later name ANZAC Cove.
The campaign was to be unsuccessful, and many Australian and New Zealand troops were to lose their lives and sustain injuries during the remainder of that year, before the forces were withdrawn on December 20, 1915 – some to be redeployed to other theatres of war.
Of those troops who lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign, Kemal Ataturk, commander of the 19th Turkish Division (and later the first President of the Turkish Republic) would say:
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,
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away 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.
The ANZAC landing and subsequent campaign at Gallipoli has become immortalised as our preeminent national day of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand.
We remember and give thanks for the men and women from all walks of life, and all parts of our nations; who heard their nation’s call and who served with pride, dignity and distinction.
We remember not only those at Gallipoli, but all who served, suffered and died in the various wars and conflicts in the service of Australia, New Zealand and their allies – both World Wars, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and many more.
On this ANZAC Day, we particularly think of those on active service in Afghanistan, and those 39 Australian and 10 New Zealand service personnel who died in the service of their country in that conflict and who will not return.
The Motley Fool pays tribute to our veterans – those who are still with us, and those who have passed on. We are thankful for their service and their sacrifice.
In the words of the ANZAC Dedication, delivered at Dawn Services throughout Australia and New Zealand this morning:
At this hour, on this day, ANZAC received its baptism of fire and became one of the immortal names in history. We who are gathered here think of the comrades who went out with us to battle but did not return. We feel them still near us in spirit. We wish to be worthy of their great sacrifice. Let us, therefore, once again dedicate ourselves to the service of the ideals for which they died. As the dawn is even now about to pierce the night, so let their memory inspire us to work for the coming of the new light into the dark places of the world.
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