I come from a long history of family military service.  Today, I remember my great grandfather, grandfather, father and mother that all served.

ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915. The bravery of all military personnel who participated in this campaign and the lives of those who died in all military actions are remembered.

Many any ceremonies, parades, and other activities are held on ANZAC Day to remember the lives of those who participated or died in military action, particularly on the Gallipoli peninsula in World War I. Dawn prayer or church services are a particularly important aspect of ANZAC Day. These represent the comradeship that the soldiers experienced as they rose each morning to prepare for another day of military action. After the services, gunfire breakfast (coffee with rum in it) is often served.

In major cities and many smaller towns, parades, marches, and reunions of current and past military personnel and memorial services are held. The fourth stanza or verse of a well-known poem, known as The Ode, is read aloud at many ceremonies. The poem is called “For The Fallen” and was written by Laurence Binyon in 1914. It commemorates those who died and can never grow old.

In the early months of 1915, World War I was raging in most of Europe, including the Ottoman empire in the geographical area that is now Turkey. Russian troops were fighting on many fronts, particularly against troops from Germany and the Ottoman and Austro -Hungarian empires. At dawn on April 25, 1915, forces from France, Great Britain, and the British Empire, including Australia and New Zealand, landed at a number of places on the Gallipoli peninsula. The campaign aimed to open up new fronts for the Allied forces and a trade route to Russia.

In the ensuing battle, many lives were lost on both sides and the Allied forces did not succeed in opening a trade route to Russia. The last ANZAC forces withdrew from the Gallipoli peninsula by December 20, 1915, in a successful operation with very few casualties. In spite of their losses, the ANZAC servicemen and many Australians and New Zealanders saw this battle as the start of the ANZAC spirit. This is an Australasian ideal based on the “mateship” and cheerful suffering the forces showed during this campaign.

ANZAC Day is celebrated Australia/New Zealand-wide.