Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance, which takes place each year on the 25th of April. While it does bear connections to Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice day and Poppy day), which falls on the 11th of November, it’s not a memorial day observed by Commonwealth countries in general, but specifically by Australia and New Zealand. The name of this commemorative occasion is an acronym of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and was named as such in 1916.
A Quick Lesson in the History of Anzac Day
This memorial day serves to honour the lives and actions of the men and women who fought in Australia and New Zealand’s first major military operation during World War I. The main objective of the military operation was to rid the Dardanelles of enemy forces, so that the allied navies could assist in seizing Constantinople (now Istanbul), which was both the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany.
To do this, the Australian and New Zealand military forces, known as Anzacs, set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula on the 25th of March, 1915. While the Anzacs’ task of substracting the Ottomans was meant to be brief, they were met with heavy resistance from the Turkish defenders. This resulted in the campaign of the Anzacs dragging on for a total of 8 months, during which both sides were met with a severe number of casualties.
Even though the Anzacs’ military campaign failed, their sacrifice would never be forgotten – to this end, a day of remembrance is held annually each year on the 25th of April, ever since 1916.
With the passing of World War II, Anzac Day has also become a memorial commemoration for the the soldiers who fought in that war as well. Nowadays, Anzac Day is a way for both Australians and New Zealanders to honour the servitude and memory of all the people, who have been a part of their military forces and who’ve fought to make both countries what they are today.
Anzac Day Today
Anzac Day begins at dawn, with commemorative services held at memorials – the time the Anzac forces landed on the Gallipoli peninsula – and continues throughout the rest of the day, across the nation.
This year’s Anzac Day in Melbourne begins with a Dawn Service at the Forecourt of the Shrine of Remembrance from 6 to 6:30AM, which is followed by the Official Wreath Laying at the Shrine itself from 6:30 to 8:30AM.
Later during the day, the Anzac Commemoration March is held – it begins from the intersection of Swanston Street and Little Burke and continues down both Swanston Street and St. Kilda Road, ending at the Shrine of Remembrance, where a commemoration ceremony will be held afterwards.
And remember, you can enjoy all of the festivities and still get all of your house cleaning done, with our assistance – we work even on holidays!