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Australians remember war dead

The Shrine of Remembrance being prepared for ANZAC Day. (Katherine Phan/YJI)

Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – On the 25th of April each year, it is ANZAC Day here in Australia, which stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day.

It is the day we commemorate the lives that were lost and the sacrifices that were made during World War I.

The Cenotaph, a granite structure with six men in the three Australian services, carrying their departed comrade. (Katherine Phan/YJI)

On this day, many choose to turn their alarm clocks to 4 a.m. and gather in the heart of the city.

On April 25, 1915, thousands of troops arrived on the shore of Gallipoli, Turkey, and fought a disastrous battle.

Australians and New Zealanders alike were under fire before they reached shore.

When they did, the Turks were positioned overhead and the soldiers were an easy target.  Troops dropped like flies left and right as many drowned in the uneven water.

Reaching the shore, they then had no choice but to climb the steep plateau with Turkish soldiers still firing from above. It was soon discovered later that the troops had landed at the wrong place.

On this day of commemoration, a solemn crowd of thousands stands in the cold and silence at 5:30 a.m.

The Eternal Flame that signifies the never ending memory of the fallen. (Katherine Phan/YJI)

The dawn service spans over an hour. Poems such as “The Ode of Remembrance” and “In Flanders Field” are read as well as a minute of silence and songs such as “The Last Post” and  “Reveille.”

Some say “Reveille” is played to awaken the fallen into the next world while others say it is to awaken the soldiers into battle.

Members of the public lay poppies – an international symbol of remembrance – at the end of the service. They were the first flowers to grow on the Western Front after World War I, their red petals a reminder of the previously infinite bloodshed.

And throughout the northern parts of Belgium and France, they grew, bloomed and blossomed. They were a symbol of hope.

A plaque with a description of who Sir Edward Dunlop was. (Katherine Phan/YJI)
The bronze statue of Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop, known for his medical service and mateship during WW2. (Katherine Phan/YJI)

The Veterans’ March begins at 8:30 a.m. from Federation Square and along St. Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance. All those who have served march to the Shrine and receive their recognition.

It is the day we pay our respects for the war that was fought and reflect in gratitude, lest we forget.

Katherine Phan is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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