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NEWS | April 25, 2024

Pacific leaders commemorate Anzac Day in Honolulu

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

HONOLULU — Multinational military and civilian leaders from across the Indo-Pacific region gathered to commemorate Australia and New Zealand Army Corps Day at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, commonly referred to as the “Punchbowl,” April 25.

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I on the shores of Gallipoli, and is a major national observance in both nations; formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance, as well as organized marches are conducted annually.
Opening remarks were made by Chantelle Taylor, Australian consul-general, and Mike Ketchen, New Zealand consul-general. Australian Army Maj. Gen. Scott Winter, deputy commanding general of J5 at U.S. Army Pacific made a commemorative address to discuss the significance of Anzac Day.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Sklenka, deputy commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Fleet Master Chief David Isom, senior enlisted leader at USINDOPACOM; and other military and civilian leaders participated in a wreath laying ceremony, followed by military honors to show appreciation for Australia and New Zealand’s Army Corps.
New Zealand Army Warrant Officer Class One Stephen Rupapere, deputy senior enlisted leader at USINDOPACOM, recited The Ode in Te Reo Māori, the native language of New Zealand. Many ceremonies of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand include a rendition of The Ode. It is the fourth stanza of “For the Fallen,” a poem written by Laurence Binyon in 1914. 

The significance of the ceremony taking place at Punchbowl lies in its traditional Hawaiian name, Pūowaina, meaning a place of sacrifice, perfectly commemorating the sacrifices made by ANZAC forces during World War I and any conflict since.

The U.S. shares common elements of history, culture and a commitment to democratic principles and the international rules-based order with both Australia and New Zealand.  Both nations have fought side-by-side with the U.S. in almost every major conflict over the last 100 years.