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ANZAC Day: "It's a story of brave men who fought in a foreign land for our values"

ANZAC Day: "It's a story of brave men who fought in a foreign land for our values"
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By Seamus Kearney
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A dawn service is held at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli in Turkey to remember the Australian and New Zealand troops who landed there during the First World War

  • Dawn service at ANZAC cove in Gallipoli
  • Thousands turn out for ceremonies in Australia and NZ
  • Teenager arrested in Sydney on terrorism charges
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A dawn service has been held at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli in Turkey to remember the Australian and New Zealand troops who landed there during the First World War.

A wreath-laying ceremony was led by the Australian Minister of Veteran Affairs and the New Zealand Defence Minister.

This year is the 101st anniversary of the Allied landings at Gallipoli.

The sound of nothing but a didgeridoo echoing across #ANZAC Cove at #Gallipoli … incredible channeltennews</a> <a href="https://t.co/bUecznHqOG">pic.twitter.com/bUecznHqOG</a></p>&mdash; Kimberley Soekov (KimberleySoekov) April 25, 2016

“We stand here in this place to mark the sacrifice, the resolve and the bravery of the men who died for us,” said the Australian minister, Dan Tehan.

“We remember them through their story, a story that we carry as their descendants. We have travelled here to pay our respects to the first ANZACs and to those who follow them.

“It is a story of brave men who fought in a foreign land for our values, our freedoms and our sovereignty.”

The New Zealand Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee, said: “Perhaps the most important message to reflect on, 100 years after the ANZAC landing, is the importance of remembrance itself.

“The commemorations help us collectively to come to terms with what happened.

“Such is the strength of the human spirit, to find solace in the values that rose above the destruction, the courage, the commitment and the comradeship of those who served.

“They are values that will stand us in good stead as we face the new challenges and conflicts of the 21st century.”

Teenager arrested on terrorism charges in Sydney

In Sydney, police have charged a teenager with a terrorism offence, alleging that he was planning an attack at one of the ceremonies being held there on ANZAC Day.

NSW Premier mikebairdMP</a> labels alleged <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AnzacDay2016?src=hash">#AnzacDay2016</a> terror plot &#39;disturbing&#39; <a href="https://t.co/wKQnvq2AGF">https://t.co/wKQnvq2AGF</a> <a href="https://t.co/R4FZLbk2pw">https://t.co/R4FZLbk2pw</a></p>&mdash; ABC News (abcnews) April 24, 2016

Police say the 16-year-old was arrested near his home.

“We have taken swift action to ensure community safety on the eve of a sacred day on the Australian calendar,” said the New South Wales state Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione in a statement.

“The age of the individual is obviously a concern for us, and it remains a measure of the ongoing task facing law enforcement and the community.”

Five young men were arrested during last year’s ANZAC centenary, also accused of planning an attack during the commemorations.

Dawn services and parades in Australia and NZ

April the 25th, 1915, was the date of the first Gallipoli landings, when large numbers of Australian and New Zealand troops were killed.

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ANZAC Day is a public holiday in both countries and tens of thousands have also turned out there for dawn services and parades.

'A tragic legacy of armed conflict'. Tens of thousands turn out for ANZAC Day services in Australia and NZ https://t.co/3FAtBtH9qu'

— Seamus Kearney (@seamuskearney_) April 25, 2016

In the Australian capital, Canberra, about 55,000 gathered at the National War Memorial to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the landings of Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli.

Wreaths have been laid at the Stone of Remembrance #AnzacDaypic.twitter.com/jAZfMolWmv

— Aust War Memorial (@AWMemorial) April 25, 2016

What ANZAC stands for

ANZAC stands for the combined forces of Australians and New Zealanders (Australian and NZ Army Corps) who fought on the Turkish peninsula during World War I.

In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies.

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The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war.

But the war turned into a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months.

At the end of 1915 the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.

The Allied casualties included 21,255 from the United Kingdom, of which were some 4000 Irish soldiers from the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an estimated 10,000 dead soldiers from France, 8,709 from Australia, 2,721 from New Zealand and 1,358 from British India.

News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and April 25 quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

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