Monday, April 24, 2006

# Posted 6:26 PM by Patrick Porter  

ANZAC DAY: 25 April is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates the landing of the Australia New Zealand Army Corps at the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915. The Anzacs fought alongside French and British troops against Turkish forces in conditions of Homeric brutality.

One of my favourite memorials is the Kemal Attaturk Memorial in Canberra, Australia, inscribed with the words of the father of modern Turkey. Turkish war veterans living in Australia place it on their banner on Anzac Day marches:
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives;
You're now lying in the soil of a friendly country,
Therefore rest in peace, there is no diffrence between
The Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie
Side by side here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away Countries,
wipe away your tears;
your sons are now Lying in our bosom and are at peace.
After having lost their lives on this land,
they have become Our sons as well.
Rest lightly upon them, earth.
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I am not that knowledgeable about Ataturk, but that is possibly the most moving speech I have ever read about enemy soldiers. I guess there was something to the man.
My great-grandfather commanded a battalion of the Lancashire Fusileers on Gallipolli, on that bloody day.
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