Anzac Day – April 25th
Anzac Day is one of the most significant days in Australian history that commemorates the service and sacrifice of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I. It is celebrated every year on April 25th and is a day to honour the memory of those who have fought and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
The history of Anzac Day dates back to April 25th, 1915, when Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey. This was the first major military campaign in which Australia and New Zealand had fought together as independent nations. Despite the bravery and courage of the ANZAC soldiers, the military campaign was ultimately unsuccessful and resulted in significant casualties. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed, alongside 2,700 New Zealand soldiers, in the eight-month Gallipoli campaign.
Despite the tragic outcome of the campaign, the ANZAC soldiers have become a symbol of Australian courage, bravery, and sacrifice. Anzac Day is not only a time to commemorate those who have fought in wars, but also a time to reflect on the values that make us proud to be Australian – mateship, courage, resilience, and sacrifice.
The traditional Anzac Day ceremony begins with a dawn service, which is held at war memorials across the country. The dawn service takes place at dawn as this is the time when the ANZAC soldiers landed on the shores of Gallipoli. The service includes a commemorative address, the laying of wreaths, the playing of the Last Post, a minute of silence, and the playing of the Reveille.
The Last Post is a bugle call that is used as a symbol of remembrance at military funerals and commemorations. The playing of the Last Post signifies the end of the day’s activities, while the Reveille marks the beginning of the day and the resumption of activities. These bugle calls have become an integral part of Anzac Day commemorations.
After the dawn service, there is a march of veterans and their families through the streets of cities and towns across Australia. This march is an opportunity for Australians to pay their respects to the veterans and to show their gratitude for the sacrifices that have been made on their behalf.
Anzac Day is not just about commemorating the sacrifices of those who have fought in wars. It is also a time to think about what it means to be an Australian and to pledge to support others in our community. Each year, Anzac Day is accompanied by a theme that reflects the spirit of the occasion. The theme for Anzac Day in 2021 was “Lest We Forget”.
The phrase “Lest We Forget” has become synonymous with Anzac Day and is a reminder to all Australians that we must never forget the sacrifices made by those who have fought for our freedom. This phrase is often spoken during the minute of silence observed during the dawn service.
In addition to the commemorative events, Anzac Day is also a time for families to come together and share stories of their ancestors who fought in wars. Many young Australians attend Anzac Day services and marches with their families to learn about Australia’s history and the sacrifices that have been made on their behalf.
Anzac Day is a time to remember the past, but it is also an opportunity to think about the future. As Australians, we must continue to support and care for our veterans and their families, and ensure that they have access to the resources and services they need to live happy and fulfilling lives.
In conclusion, Anzac Day is a day to honour the memory of those who have fought and died in wars and conflicts, and to reflect on the values that make us proud to be Australians. It is a time to remember our history and to think about what it means to be part of a community. Anzac Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf and to pledge to support one another in the future. Lest We Forget.
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