26 April 2014

Anzac Day Memorial

Each year on Anzac Day, New Zealanders (and Australians) mark the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings of 25 April 1915. On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.
For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.
By the time the campaign ended, more than 120,000 men had died: at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including more than 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a fifth of all those who had landed on the peninsula.
In the wider story of the First World War, the Gallipoli campaign made no large mark. The number of dead, although horrific, pales in comparison with the death toll in France and Belgium during the war. However, for New Zealand, along with Australia and Turkey, the Gallipoli campaign is often claimed to have played an important part in fostering a sense of national identity.   Source: NZ History

Thousands of people gathered at Anzac dawn services throughout New Zealand to mark the 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.
War veterans marched in ceremonies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to applause from the crowds, as people came to commemorate those who lost their lives at war.
It is the largest dawn service in the country – and more than 15,000 people rose to honour the ANZACs who fought for our freedom.

Many people attended dawn services across Australia to mark the 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. An estimated 10,000 people gathered in the drizzle of Martin Place in Sydney, while 80,000 attended the service in Melbourne.

The Royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, made a surprise appearance at the dawn service in Canberra.

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, paid tribute to the "brave and determined" Anzac forces.