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ANZAC Day is the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and NZ Army Corps on Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915.
Yet for Australia’s people, it has come to represent so much more says the head of communications and marketing at the Australian War Memorial, Chris Wagner.
Only a decade after federation and from a population of less than five million, more than 400,000 men and women enlisted to serve in World War I.
With more than 60,000 dead, and more than 150,000 wounded, gassed or taken prisoner, Anzac Day has come to represent the best and worst of Australia’s experience of war.
“Anzac Day is a day where we, as Australians, come together to reflect on the lives, actions and sacrifices of those who have served our nation,” Chris says.
“It is also a day to reflect on what it now means to be an Australian, and how we can share their experiences, and the Anzac spirit, with future generations.”
To reflect, the AWM welcomes everyone to three major events on Anzac Day:
To start the day, excerpts from the letters and diaries of Australians who experienced war first hand will be read aloud at 4.30am by a representative from each of the armed forces.
- After, at 5.30am, the Dawn Service begins on the Parade ground and surrounds at the Australian War Memorial.
- Then, at 10.30am the National Ceremony commences with the traditional order of service including the Commemorative Address, wreath laying, hymns, the sounds of the “Last Post”, observance of one minute’s silence, and the national anthems of Australia and NZ.
- At the end of the day at 4.55pm, the memorial farewells visitors with its Last Post Ceremony. The ceremony begins with the singing of the Australian National Anthem, followed by the poignant strains of a Lament, played by a piper.
Australian War Memorial, call 6243 4211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org