Friday, 24 April 2009

ANZAC DAY - 2009

“The tragedy of war is that it uses man's best to do man's worst.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

Anzac Day in Australia is one of the most moving and universally commemorated days on the Australian holiday Calendar. The Anzacs are the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought against the Turks in the battle of Gallipoli in 1915. This was a major campaign of World War I that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula, on the European side of the Dardanelles in 1915–16. The Allies (with heavy involvement of troops from Australia and New Zealand) hoped to gain control of the strait, but the campaign reached stalemate after each side suffered heavy casualties. Total Allied deaths were around 21,000 British, 10,000 French, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders and 1,370 Indians. Total Turkish deaths were around 86,700 - nearly twice as many as all the Allies combined. New Zealanders suffered the highest percentage of Allied deaths compared with the population size of New Zealand.

The song "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle is about the Gallipoli campaign and gives a heart-wrenching personal message about the solders who sacrificed all for “king and country”.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

On this Anzac Day, I wish you peace whoever and wherever you are.

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