Anzac Day Facts

Anzac Day Facts
Anzac Day is Australia and New Zealand's national remembrance day, honoring all those from Australia and New Zealand who have served or died in peacekeeping efforts, conflicts and in wars. Anzac Day is observed on April 25th each year since the Gallipoli campaign of World War I. New Zealand and Australia took part in a mission to capture the Ottoman Empire's capital city Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire was an ally of Germany and the goal of the Gallipoli campaign would have opened the Black Sea for the allied forces. The campaign ended 8 months later with many casualties on both sides. In 1916 April 25th officially became Anzac Day, and was observed with services and ceremonies and a march. It has been celebrated each year since.
Interesting Anzac Day Facts:
ANZAC is the abbreviated short form of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
The ANZACs landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25th, 1915. This is now known as Anzac Cove.
Although the conflict at Gallipoli only lasted 8 months, more than 11,000 ANZACs lost their lives during the fighting. Another 23,500 were wounded during the battle.
Although Anzac day has been celebrated since 1916 it did not become a public holiday in Australia or New Zealand until 1927.
Constantinople is now called Istanbul, Turkey.
Gallipoli is not a town but a region. It is very near the famous ancient city of Troy.
ANZAC also included British, Irish, Zion, Ceylon and Pacific Island officers.
Alec Campbell was the last surviving member of Anzac. He passed away on May 16th, 2002.
ANZACs members were all volunteers, not drafted soldiers.
In 1923 the first unofficial dawn ceremony to celebrate Anzac Day was held. Dawn is the best time to attack in battle and this is the reasoning behind holding services at that time of day.
The first official dawn ceremony was held in 1927 at the Sydney Cenotaph.
Wives of Anzac soldiers made Anzac biscuits for their husbands to take with them. They had a long shelf life because the biscuits are made without milk and eggs.
People wear rosemary on Anzac Day in honor of those who have not returned from war.
Other countries that celebrate Anzac Day because of their involvement in the Gallipoli campaign include Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands, as well as some towns in France, and in England.
Almost every town in Australia has a memorial of some sort to honor their veterans. Some of these memorials list the names of those who died while serving their country, and some include all the names of those who have served and returned.
There is an Anzac commemorative at Gallipoli, built with the approval of the Turkish government and in conjunction with the New Zealand government.
Although Anzac Day's original purpose was to honor those who served at Gallipoli during world War I, it changed to honor all those who serve in all wars once World War II broke out.
Although Anzac Day is meant to honor those who have served in the military, some people use the day to raise awareness for other causes, or protests.

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