On the 25th April, 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed in Z beach (ANZAC Cove) in Gallipoli, Turkey to launch a military campaign against the Ottoman Empire. The objective of the campaign was to capture Constantinople (Istanbul), the capital of the empire, which would provide many strategical advantages. However, within the first day an estimated 620 ANZAC soldiers were killed. Over the duration of the campaign, the total casualties came in at an estimated 362,000 people killed, ANZACs, Turks and Allies. Overall, the campaign was one of the biggest Allied military failures.
Now, 99 years later, Turkey is an ally with Australia and New Zealand. Together we all celebrate ‘ANZAC Day’, on the 25th April each year. Although we call it a celebration, it is also a mourning, not only for the soldiers killed in the ANZAC campaign, but all the soldiers that gave their lives so that Australia, New Zealand and Turkey could be safe and friendly countries.
This year, our school attended the ANZAC Day celebrations, which consisted of a commemorative parade, a wreath-laying (a circular ring of flowers) and a flag raising, with a volley of blanks fired. This year, our two school captains, Kav and Ruby, were in attendance to lay a wreath on behalf of our school. Anyone else who wanted attend from Berwick Lodge Primary was asked to turn up in uniform if they wished. I decided to attend. Besides, I can give 1 hour of my time to remember those who gave their lives for our country. Luckily, others shared my opinion too. Josh.B, Ethan, Brodie, Lachlan, Lincoln and his sister all attended the parade with Ruby, Kav and myself to participate in the wreath laying. We approached the remembrance shrine, and placed our wreath. We then exited to the left, and rejoined Mrs Whitelaw and Mr Whitehead in the crowd.
The amount of people in attendance was astounding, and this was only for the main street of Berwick! I can only imagine the people at the dawn service and parades in the city! I was very excited to be part of this gathering to remember why we are a free country, and those who gave their lives for us to live in a free, beautiful country. Now, I will finish this post with a stanza of the poem ‘For The Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon called ‘The Ode’.
“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
“Lest we forget.”