ANZAC Day – A National Memorial Day for Australians & New Zealanders

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, 25 April 2024

ANZAC Day, observed annually on April 25th, serves as a National Day of Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, honouring the valiant members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I. This day holds significant historical importance, marking the anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli, a pivotal event in the collective memory of both nations.

The Gallipoli Campaign, waged in 1915, saw Allied forces, including the ANZAC troops, engage in a military campaign against the Ottoman Empire. Tasked with seizing control of the strategic Dardanelles, the ANZAC forces faced formidable challenges, ultimately resulting in substantial losses and an unsuccessful campaign.

ANZAC Day stands as a solemn tribute to the courage, sacrifice, and service of these soldiers, as well as all individuals who have served and perished in the armed forces of Australia and New Zealand. Across both countries, the day is commemorated through various ceremonies, including dawn services, wreath-laying ceremonies, marches, and other events, serving as moments of reflection and gratitude.

Despite the campaign’s failure, the bravery and resilience displayed by the ANZAC soldiers have enduringly shaped the national identity and pride of Australians and New Zealanders. Since its inception in 1916, ANZAC Day has evolved to honour not only those who fought at Gallipoli but all who have made the ultimate sacrifice in military conflicts.

Today, ANZAC Day serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of war on society and the sacrifices made by servicemen and women. It remains a vital component of the national identity of both Australia and New Zealand, offering a day to pay homage and respect to those who have bravely served their countries.

The commemoration extends beyond the shores of Australia and New Zealand, with significant events taking place at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and the Dawn Service at Anzac Cove in Turkey, symbolizing the enduring bond between nations forged in conflict.

Furthermore, the diplomatic relations between Australia and Turkey, established in 1967, have fostered a relationship of mutual respect and collaboration. This bond has flourished over the years, with both countries enhancing cooperation in various sectors, including trade, education, and tourism, contributing to the enduring legacy of ANZAC Day as a symbol of friendship and reconciliation.


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