ANZAC DAY 2021
Anzac Day is observed on April 25 by Australians and New Zealanders.
ANZAC is an acronym that stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
On April 25, 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops joined the allied expedition to conquer the Gallipoli peninsula. They were known as Anzacs, and their pride in the name endures to this day.
The Anzacs set out on April 25, 1915, to capture the Gallipoli peninsula and open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The aim was to take Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and a German ally.
The Anzacs arrived in Gallipoli and were faced with fierce opposition from the Turkish Ottoman defenders. Their plan to drive Turkey out of the war soon fell apart, and the campaign dragged on for eight months.
The allied troops were evacuated at the end of 1915. Both parties lost a lot of people and had to deal with a lot of challenges. About 8,000 Australian troops were killed in the conflict.
The landing at Gallipoli and the events that followed had a profound effect on Australians back home. April 25 soon became a day for Australians to honour the sacrifices of those who perished in the battle.
The Anzacs were brave, and although the Gallipoli campaign struggled to achieve its strategic aims, the deeds of Australia and New Zealand during the campaign left us all with a powerful legacy.
Warwick State High School at 2019 Anzac Day parade, Warwick image credit: Wikimedia
ANZAC day public holiday
Australians and New Zealanders observe April 25 as a memorial day to focus on the expense of war and to commemorate those who fought and died for their homeland. Memorial services and marches are performed at midnight, the initial landing time, mostly at war memorials in cities and towns in both countries, as well as at the locations of some of Australia and New Zealand’s most famous battles and most significant casualties, such as Villers-Bretonneux in France and Gallipoli in Turkey.
One of the Anzac Day rituals is the “gunfire meal” (coffee with rum added), which takes place immediately after many dawn ceremonies and recalls the “breakfast” consumed by many soldiers before entering battle.
Later in the day, ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen assemble and march through major cities and several smaller towns.