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NEWS | April 25, 2024

MRF-D 24.3 U.S. Marines, Sailors honor Anzac Day in Darwin, Palmerston

By Gunnery Sgt. Kassie McDole, Marine Rotational Force - Darwin

April 25, 1915, etched into history as the day 140 soldiers of the first wave set sail, their destination: the Gallipoli Peninsula. Among them, only 38 would step onto the shores alive, marking the harrowing beginning of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps' campaign in World War I.

Today, over 100 years later, April 25th stands as Anzac Day, a solemn tribute to the courage and sacrifice of Australians and New Zealanders who served and perished in wars and peacekeeping missions.

As dawn broke over the grounds of the Darwin Cenotaph War Memorial and Palmerston War Memorial Park, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, U.S. Marines and Sailors of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, alongside their Australian Allies, reflected on the earnestness of the occasion and the enduring legacy of service and sacrifice.

"We gather here before the dawn, because they did,” said Australian Army Brigadier Douglas Pashley, the commander of 1st Brigade, Australian Army.

The morning commenced with the time-honored Dawn Service, where the notes of the Last Post echoed through the crisp morning air, marking the moment when ANZAC soldiers first landed on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915. As the bugle call faded, a profound silence enveloped the gathered crowd, honoring the memory of those who gave their lives for their countries.

"Anzac Day is about more than Gallipoli and the Western Front,” said Pashley. “It's about the service of Australians and our partners and Allies, and conflicts, and peacekeeping operations and deployments since then.”

Following the Dawn Service, U.S. Marines, Sailors and Australian Defence Force members and veterans participated in the Anzac Day march in Darwin City and Palmerston. They marched in solidarity, parading through Palmerston and downtown Darwin to honor their Allies' memory, embodying the mateship between the United States and Australia.

“U.S. Marines and Sailors are honored to be included in Anzac Day activities with our Australian Defence Force brothers and sisters,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Brian T. Mulvihill, the commanding officer of MRF-D 24.3. “The display of national support to those that serve and sacrifice on behalf of this great nation is awe-inspiring.”

The participation of MRF-D 24.3 U.S. Marines and Sailors in Anzac Day events underscores the enduring bond between the United States and Australia, founded on mutual respect, shared sacrifice, and a commitment to freedom and democracy.




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