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What Anzac Day Means to Australia

Anzac Day is one of the most important and recognized national occasion’s in Australia. It marks the memorable anniversary of their first major military action that was courageously fought by both Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, (which is what ANZAC stands for) during World War I. The brave soldiers in those legendary forces quickly became acknowledged as Anzacs. To this day, that name carries a great deal of pride, integrity, and nobility.

The Significance of Anzac Day

Australia had only been a federal commonwealth for a mere fourteen years when war broke out in the year 1914 as the new national government was ready to quickly make its mark as one of the worlds’ nations.

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Australia’s and New Zealand’s valiant soldiers together formed a division of the allied expedition in 1915. They embarked on a journey to seize the Gallipoli peninsula in order to forge a path to the Black Sea in support of the allied navies. The strategy was to seize Constantinople (present day Istanbul), a key ally of Germany, and the Ottoman Empire capital. On April 25th, the troops set foot on Gallipoli, facing strong resistance from the defenders of Turkey. What was originally planned as a bold move to eliminate Turkey from the war, swiftly progressed into an intense impasse, thus the campaign was drug out over the course of eight months. Towards the end of 1915, the allied forces withdrew after both sides endured numerous casualties and severe hardships.

The Australians were hit hard at home by the news of the troops landing at Gallipoli on April 25th. And so, the historical date was quickly recognized as the day the Australians somberly remember those brave men who sacrificed their lives in the war.

The Meaning of Anzac Day Today

April 25th is the day Australians commemorate this national occasion. The commemorative services are held once a year at dawn, the same time as the original landing of the troops, throughout the country. As the day progresses, ex-service people assemble and proceed to march in major cities and several smaller centers across the land. Commemorative ceremonies are performed at countless war memorials across the nation. It is a day, in fact, when Australians contemplate the various meanings and reasons for war.

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