Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day, public holiday, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga

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, 'father of the Turkish nation', 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. (The Anzac covering force, the 3rd Brigade of the Australian 1st Division, began to go ashore shortly before dawn at 4.30 am on April 25.) 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 invasion of Turkey in World War One. In Australia, it is generally commemorated with more reverence and enthusiasm than practically any public holiday, including Australia Day and Easter. Perhaps only Christmas is as widely commemorated ...

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