Monday, April 27, 2015
A crowd of over 10,000 people attended the dawn service on Saturday at Gallipoli, Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops there in 1915. The solemn remembrance ceremony was held at the site of the original Gallipoli landings, now known as Anzac Cove.
The Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War is remembered as a failed attack in which thousands of lives were lost for little to no gain for either side. The campaign killed 45,000 Allied and 86,000 Turkish troops.
Attendees at the dawn service included Prince Charles, the Prime Minister of Australia, and the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s speech later in the day emphasised the importance of the day to Australians. “Like every generation since, we are here on Gallipoli because we believe the Anzacs represented Australians at their best. Because they rose to their challenges, we believe it is a little easier for us to rise to ours. Their example helps us to be better than we would otherwise be”, he said.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key at dawn described Gallipoli as a symbol of the highest ideals of Australians and New Zealanders “especially when they work side by side in the face of adversity”.
Prince Charles stirred emotions by reading extracts from a serviceman’s diary. The diary entry, by Company Quartermaster Sergeant Benjamin Leane, was addressed to his wife and was written hours before the first Gallipoli landing.
The centenary milestone of Anzac Day also drew a Turkish security force of 3700, both police and paramilitary. Attendees entered past six security checkpoints.
A record 120,000 people also attended services at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra to commemorate the centenary.