Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance that commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”.
We do this because it is the anniversary of the day when Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the beach at Gallipoli in Turkey on 25 April 1915.
This was the first major military campaign for soldiers from Australia and New Zealand. Since then, 25 April has been known as Anzac Day. ‘Anzac’ comes from the name Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was shortened to ANZAC in 1915. Since then, when Australians and New Zealanders have served together, they have often been known as Anzacs. At Gallipoli, Australians and New Zealanders served with soldiers from other nations, including England, France and India. The Australians at Gallipoli came from all sorts of backgrounds, but they shared the terrible experience of war. Ever since then, for more than a hundred years, the men and women in our army, navy and air force have honoured the memory of our original Anzacs.
Today the Last Post will be played. It was played in army camps to announce the end of the day, a time when soldiers should be resting. When you hear the Last Post played today it is for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It means that they have done their duty and are now at rest. After the Last Post, there will be one minute of silence. This is a time to think about all those who have served in Australia’s armed forces, those who continue to serve, and about those who have lost their lives.
To all those who have served or who are currently serving we thank you for your service.
Lest we forget.