Tuesday, June 12, 2012

World War One Wednesday

One of the most tragic campaigns of the entire First World War was the allied attempt to take Gallipoli. The battle for Gallipoli marked the first major action seen by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps forces (ANZAC) and proved to be costly for these allies from 'Down Under.'

When I first watched the movie Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson, I kept thinking, "This can't have happened. They wouldn't charge repeatedly into the face of such awful and overwhelming firepower."

And yet, that's what they did. Bravely, for God, King, and Country, they, like the Light Brigade of the Crimean War, charged into the fray.

April 25th is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, and surpasses Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in both countries as military memorial days.

In a small cove on the coast of Gallipoli in Turkey, a memorial to the  ANZAC soldiers sits. They've named the place Anzac Cove, and the memorial is inscribed with the following words:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the 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 in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
— Atatürk 1934

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