By: Jovana Cupac
April 25th marks a special day for Australians and New Zealanders, ANZAC Day. A day of remembrance to honour the veterans who served and sacrificed their lives in military action during World War 1. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and these soldiers are still today remembered for their bravery and fighting spirit.
Why do we commemorate ANZAC Day?
Britain declared war in August 1914, Australia had only been federated for 13 years at this stage and the federal government saw entering the war as an opportunity to cement the country’s place on the world stage, creating a reputation of determination and loyalty to the Commonwealth.
On the 25th April 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the beaches of Gallipoli with the objective to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. With great determination and planned intentions to knock Turkish defenders out of the war quickly, Australia was met with well-prepared Turkish forces, turning the expedition into eight months of desperate fighting. At the end of 1915, soldiers were evacuated from the Gallipoli peninsular with more than 8,000 deaths.
Although there was no military victory, it left Australian & New Zealand soldiers a powerful legacy, as they had displayed great courage, mateship and endurance. This is now referred to as the ‘Anzac Legend’.
How do we recognise this today?
More than a hundred years on, we still come together on April 25th to recognise and remember the ANZACS. Unfortunately, this year will be a little different – we will be coming together in spirit, rather than person. In these uncertain times, services and marches have been cancelled, but this will not dampen our spirits! Australians are being encouraged to wake up early on Anzac Day and at 6am, stand at the end of driveways, on the balcony or in the loungeroom, light a candle and hold a minute of silence to honour the those who lost their lives in war and those who still proudly serve our country today. Be a part of this special moment remembering the ANZACs.
Renaissance Accelerated Reader Anzac Day Book Suggestions: