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Tradition had its genesis in 1915

Riverside Christian College students lay a wreath at the Anzac Day Maryborough commemoration.
Riverside Christian College students lay a wreath at the Anzac Day Maryborough commemoration. Alistair Brightman

ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915 - it is the day we remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

On Wednesday, April 25, the Fraser Coast will join the rest of the country in commemorating the spirit of the Anzacs - courage, mateship and sacrifice.

The First World War remains the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties for Australia.

According to the Australian War Memorial, of more than 416,000 men enlisted, 60,000 were killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, with the objective to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to allow the allied fleet (Britain and France) to pass through the Dardanelles Strait to lay siege on Constantinople (now Istanbul).

What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months.

At the end of 1915 the Allied forces were evacuated. Both sides had suffered heavy causalities and endured great hardships.

The landing at Gallipoli was seen as a story of courage and endurance among death and despair, in the face of poor leadership from London, and unsuccessful strategies.

The Australian and New Zealand actions had a profound impact on Aussies at home, and April 25 was officially named Anzac Day in 1916.

By the 1920s, Anzac Day ceremonies were held throughout Australia - all states had designated Anzac Day as a public holiday.

In the 1940s, Second World War veterans joined parades around the country.

In the ensuing decades, returned servicemen and women from the conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Indonesia, Vietnam and Iraq, veterans from allied countries and peacekeepers joined the parades.

Today it is a day when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.

Gatherings are held across the country.

Topics:  anzac day, ceremony, gallipoli, memorial, war


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