Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In Honor Of Those Who Fought With Courage

April 25th, 1915, ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey:
"Those who wish to imagine the scene must think of twenty miles of any rough and steep sea coast known to them, picturing it as roadless, waterless, much broken with gullies, covered with scrub, sandy, loose, and difficult to walk on, and without more than two miles of accessible landing throughout its length. Let them picture this familiar twenty miles as dominated at intervals by three hills bigger than the hills about them, the north hill a peak, the centre a ridge or plateau, and the south a lump.

Then let them imagine the hills entrenched, the landing mined, the beaches tangled with barbed wire, ranged by howitzers and swept by machine guns, and themselves three thousand miles from home, going out before dawn with rifles, packs, and water-bottles, to pass the mines under shell fire, cut through the wire under machine-gun fire, clamber up the hills under the fire of all arms by the glare of shell-bursts, in the withering and crashing tumult of modern war, and then to dig themselves in, on a waterless and burning hill while a more numerous enemy charge them with the bayonet.

And let them imagine themselves enduring this night after night, day after day, without rest or solace, nor respite from the peril of death, seeing their friends killed, and their position imperilled, getting their food, their munitions, even their drink, from the jaws of death, and their breath from the taint of death, and their brief sleep upon the dust of death.

Let them imagine themselves driven mad by heat and toil and thirst by day, shaken by frost at midnight, weakened by disease and broken by pestilence, yet rising on the word with a shout and going forward to die in exultation in a cause foredoomed and almost hopeless.

Only then will they begin, even dimly, to understand what our seizing and holding of the landings meant."
Read the rest and more.

This is regarded as an historically accurate timeline of events, taken from the diary of Major Fred Waite DSO, surrounding the Gallipoli Campaign.

Test your knowledge of ANZAC Day by taking a short quiz.

Large crowds pay their respects at traditional dawn commemorations in Auckland, Melbourne, and just about every town on both sides of the ditch will host various ceremonies.

My grandfather served alongside Australians and Kiwis in WWII, as did my father in Vietnam. As a former US Marine, I, too, served alongside Australian and New Zealand troops in Somalia. On this and every ANZAC Day I salute them all and say, "Semper Fi."


Blogger BobF said...

It may sound strange but when you think of Australia and New Zealand, you don't think of them as foreign countries. Although they are foreign sovereign nations, most Americans kind of think of them as a part of American "down under". I read about some of their Track & Field athletes who compete here and it's like they're not considered foreign athletes. I guess that's how close Americans feel to our brethren "down under".

4:24 AM GMT+12  

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