Today, 25 April 2009, marks to 94th anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landing at what is now called Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey. The Ottoman empire were still a very real threat in the opening campaign of WW1.
On this day, a group of mostly young and innocent soldiers were sent to their impending doom, due to a tragic error by the British military in issuing the men with inaccurate topographical maps outling the coastline.
According to their maps, the peninsula should've been flatter. The Turks, already aware of their opponent's impending arrival, were strategically positioned in sandbanks that elevated them, thus allowing them to look down on their opponents. They also had the advantage of having the sun behind them
This is what awaited the fate of the ANZACs. Yet, despite this, they fought bravely and honourably in such trying conditions and completely exposed to the enemy.
It is from this heroic battle that we - as Australians and New Zealanders - commemorate our glorious fallen. Every year, a dawn service is held around the country at every RSL (Returned Services League) to mark the time of their landing in Gallipoli. There is also a sunset service at the clubs. Afterwards, and I quote a passage of the day's events from this Thread:
One of the main events that also occur are the marches past, where people line the main city's streets to watch everybody who has served in every area of the armed forces march past. There are no more of the original Diggers to march, but the honour is passed onto their descendants to wear the medals and march with pride. The national day is now in memory of our glorious dead who have served in all wars from this time on.Each year the commemorations follow a pattern that is familiar to each generation of Australians. A typical ANZAC Day service contains the following features: introduction, hymn, prayer, an address, laying of wreaths, recitation, Last Post, a period of silence, Rouse or Reveille, and the national anthem. At the Memorial, families often place red poppies beside the names of relatives on the Memorial's Roll of Honour after events such as the ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services.
Another time-honoured tradtion is to play two-up (Heads or Tails with two coins, played for winnings), the only day of the year that it can be played legally across Australia and New Zealand. The pubs and clubs are packed to the rafters and generally a good time is had by all.
One final tradition has survived the ANZAC legend. These Anzac Biscuits were made for our blokes by the mothers, wives and girlfriends back home to support them in the war effort.
I end my patriotic narrative with this, a passage from The Ode:
They shall grow not 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.
Australian War Memorial