Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anzac Day, public holiday, Australia and New Zealand

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours...
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, commander of Turkish forces at Gallipoli, showing great magnanimity to his former enemies

Today we mourn the dead and the criminal stupidity of those who send them to their fate. It is the anniversary of the Allied invasion of Turkey at the Battle of Gallipoli on this day in 1915.

An estimated 131,000 Allied soldiers were killed and 262,000 wounded (sources vary widely); about 250,000 (some sources say 450,000) Turkish men were killed or wounded in an area measured in a handful of square kilometres. Anzac (or ANZAC) Day, named from the acronym of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, commemorates the landing of British and ANZAC forces on the beach at Gelibolu (Gallipoli), Turkey, on this day in 1915, in a failed campaign against the Turks in World War One.

Gallipoli was the most heavily defended and best-prepared position in the Ottoman Empire, and the Allied assault was marred by great incompetence. The British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) was responsible for initiating the debacle. Mustafa Kemal (1881 - 1938) led the Turks, and became a hero to his nation; he is better known today as Kemal Atatürk, or 'Father of Turkey', first President of the Turkish Republic ...

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