ANZAC Day

What is ANZAC Day?

Anzac DayANZAC (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 services at the local Cenotaph and marches to a Commemorative Service 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.

Marion Cenotaph at Dawn

What does Anzac Day mean today? 
With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in that war. The meaning of Anzac Day today includes the remembrance of all Australians killed in military operations.

Who are ANZACS today?

On Anzac Day of 2019, the Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, announced that for all who serve in the Australian Defence Forces – we, Australia at large – confer this honorific on then and affirm, “they are ANZAC’s” to honour their sacrifice of leaving kith and kin, home and hearth, to serve and defend our nation. The Governor General said that whatever the era, whatever the calling, their service arises from deep within, it comes from a common sense of duty, of pride in this nation, and pride in who we are.

Marion Cenotaph
Marion Cenotaph at the Dawn Service

Because whatever the era, whatever the calling, their service arises from deep within, it comes from a common sense of duty, of pride in this nation, and pride in who we are. There is a determination to protect our sovereignty and preserve the values that unite us as one strong, proud and harmonious nation – Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor General of Australia, 25 April 2019.