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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anzac Day in Warrnambool, Victoria

Today, Anzac Day, marks the 94th anniversary of the first landings of The Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey during the first world war in 1915.

When we see the official statistics, we know it was utter madness, sending thousands of men to a certain death. About 480,000 Allied troops took part in the Gallipoli campaign. The British had 205,000 casualties (43,000 killed). There were more than 33,600 ANZAC casualties (8,700 killed) and 47,000 French casualties (5,000 killed). Turkish casualties are estimated at 250,000 (65,000 killed).

It may seem strange to some people that we choose to commemorate a bloody defeat, but it was the first time our country went into battle as Australians and not as an appendage to the British, and the courage shown by our diggers against impossible odds, is revered and appreciated.

And every year, on the 25th April, we remember and honour them.

Lest we forget.