What is ANZAC Day? ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915. The bravery of all military personnel who participated in this campaign and the lives of those who died in all military actions are remembered.
Many ceremonies, parades and other activities are held on ANZAC Day to remember the lives of those who participated or died in military action, particularly on the Gallipoli Peninsula in World War I. Dawn prayer or church services are a particularly important aspect of ANZAC Day. These represent the comradeship that the soldiers experienced as they rose each morning to prepare for another day of military action. After the services, gunfire breakfast (coffee with rum in it) is often served.
In major cities and many smaller towns, parades, marches and reunions of current and past military personnel and memorial services are held. The fourth stanza or verse of a well known poem, known as The Ode, is read aloud at many ceremonies. The poem is called “For The Fallen” and was written by Laurence Binyon in 1914. It commemorates those who died and can never grow old.
About ANZAC Day
In the ensuing battle, many lives were lost on both sides and the Allied forces did not succeed in opening a trade route to Russia. The last ANZAC forces withdrew from the Gallipoli Peninsula by December 20, 1915, in a successful operation with very few casualties. In spite of their losses, the ANZAC servicemen and many Australians and New Zealanders saw this battle as the start of the ANZAC spirit. This is an Australasian ideal based on the “mateship” and cheerful suffering the forces showed during this campaign
ANZAC Day is also a public holiday and day of remembrance in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga. It is also commemorated with special services and events on or around April 25 in a range of countries across the globe. These include: the United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Canada and the United States (including Hawaii).