ANZAC Day, April 25th, is one of Australia's most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I, and has also come to represent the sacrifices of all men and women who serve in the ANZAC (Australia New Zealand Army Corps) defence forces.
The 25th of April was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916. It was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia, a march through London, and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt. During the 1920s ANZAC Day became established as a national day of commemoration for the 60,000 Australians who had died during the war. By the mid 1930s all the rituals we now associate with the day were firmly established as part of ANZAC Day culture.
On ANZAC day there are a number of events which you can attend in order to show your respect to all Australian and New Zealand veterans including dawn services, the veterans march, local school parades, commemorative breakfasts and formal luncheons.
This year, as well as attending the traditional ceremonies, why not try some of these other unique ways to commemorate ANZAC day:
*Raise a Glass at a local RSL, club, bar, restaurant or BBQ and talk to those around you about the ANZAC memories you hold close to your heart. This will help the ANZAC legend live on, as inspired by the VB Raise a Glass Appeal.
However you choose to observe this significant Australian date, ANZAC day will long represent a time of respect, reflection and reverence and is an important occasion to pause and consider those impacted by the effects of war, and the nations shared hopes for a more peaceful future.
Or - you can just turn up at any Anzac march that is being held in your town or city, and show your support for those who risked their lives, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice!
There used to be a little old lady in Perth, who stood at the edge of the crowd every Anzac Day as the parade marched past - and who held up a beautiful, small, hand-lettered sign that read; "Thank you for our freedom!".
I often wonder what she or her family lost, during any of the major Wars in her life. Her simple gesture certainly made an impression on all who saw it.