HONOLULU, Hawaii –
The Australian and New Zealand Consulates in
Hawaii will hold a commemorative service to observe the centenary of
Australia-New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10
a.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first major
military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First
World War and is a major national observance in both nations.
It marks the anniversary of the first bloody battle on
the shores of Gallipoli - the first campaign that led to major casualties for
the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I - and commemorates
all the conflicts that followed.
When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, Australian
and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture
the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in order to open the Dardanelles to the
The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now
Istanbul since 1923), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli
on April 25th, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders.
What had been planned as a stroke to knock Turkey out of the war became a
stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months.
At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated from
the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured
The Gallipoli campaign had a profound impact on
Australians and New Zealanders at home, and April 25th soon became the day on
which both nations remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military
objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left a
powerful legacy and became an important part of the identity of both nations.
Each year, Australia and New Zealand conduct three
commemorative services at Gallipoli: a joint Dawn Service at the ANZAC
Commemorative Site, followed by an Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine,
and a New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair. This year, the prime ministers of Australia
and New Zealand will be joined at Gallipoli by British royals Prince Charles
and Prince Harry.
An exhibit at the Pentagon opened April 22, 2015
representing over 100 years of common support in conflict by the armed forces
of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The "Aussies", the
"Kiwis" and the "Yanks" are depicted in 250 feet of murals
and military memorabilia in the hallway, providing a visual history of the many
operations in which our troops have fought side-by-side, such as World War II,
Korea, and Vietnam. The timeline begins in 1908 with President Teddy Roosevelt
sending the U.S. Great White Fleet to Sydney Harbor in Australia and Auckland
Harbor in New Zealand as a show of unity and purpose in the Pacific region.