Friday, May 2, 2014
What exactly is Anzac day? Anzac Day (April 25) is a national day of remembrance in Australia (as well as New Zaeland) that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. It also marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. Every year is to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) during the first world war.
Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. It remains remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left the people of both countries with a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future.