By His Excellency John Dauth
AS ALL readers will agree, Anzac Day is a very important national day to Australia, and of course, to New Zealand as well. It is a day to honour the diggers that have served our countries proudly.
25 April marks the day in 1915 when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps had their ‘baptism of fire’ and landed at Gallipoli to capture the Turkish peninsula known as the Dardanelles.
By the end of the campaign 11,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers lay dead.
They fought with such incredible bravery and spirit, we would later look to it as the moment that defined our nation and how we Australians see ourselves.
Even though the battle at Gallipoli was nearly a century ago, the significance of what they did there does not diminish with time. Although there are no longer any men or women alive who were there that day, it seems to me that with every passing year the significance of Anzac Day grows. Many young people, including many Australians living here in the UK, are now making an April pilgrimage to the Gallipoli site and observing a Dawn Service with thousands of their compatriots to pay respect to the original diggers and acknowledge the continuing commitment and sacrifice of Australian men and women.
The importance of Anzac Day will not diminish, in part, because we have had so many diggers that have served proudly in uniform since then and of course continue to serve around the world.
Although we may have friendly rivalries on the sporting fields with our Kiwi neighbours, it’s a timely reminder too, of our common bonds and shared histories.
So, on Wednesday, let us reflect upon the service of the diggers and express in any way we can how grateful we are to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Whether it is attending a Dawn Service here in the UK or going to Gallipoli itself, let us remember them.
How will you be remembering our Diggers on Anzac Day? Tell us below: