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Anzac Day 2011 Message from DVA Minister
Sunday, Apr 10, 2011 at 09:11
Fred G NSW
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For those affected or interested, I pass on the contents of this letter received via my Sub Section, from DVA Minister Snowden, as a timely message prior to Anzac Day 2011.
Lest we forget.
Friday, 8 April 2011 VA023
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:HOW WILL YOU COMMEMORATE ANZAC DAY?
For almost 96 years Anzac Day has had a central place in the hearts and minds of Australians.
Anzac Day is a reminder of the debt of gratitude that we owe as a nation to the Anzacs, to those who are currently serving and to those who have served in the past.
The Anzac tradition was born on the shores of Gallipoli during the First World War, when Australians embarked on their first large scale campaign in a major international conflict as a newly formed federated nation.
The exploits of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in 1915 forged a legend of courage, resourcefulness, determination and mateship.
During the next three years of the First World War, these qualities were exhibited by Australians in every theatre of war in which they fought, particularly in the Middle East and on the Western Front.
suffered horrific losses with more than 60,000 deaths in the First World War, an extraordinary sacrifice for a
nation with a
of just four and a half million at the time.
A generation decimated by this horrific bloody campaign.
Australians played an important role in many of the pivotal battles leading to the eventual Allied victory in 1918 over the German forces who were occupying large areas of France and Belgium. During the course of the war Australian troops fought bravely with 64 men awarded the
Cross for valour.
The Anzac spirit remained a source of inspiration for Australians in conflict throughout the last century, including the Second World War, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan, Rwanda, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. And invariably
has deservedly earned a reputation for raising tough, resilient and disciplined military forces, well respected by our international allies.
This year has particular significance as we commemorate the 60th anniversaries of the Battles of Kapyong and Maryang San in the Korean War as well as the 70th anniversaries of the Siege of Tobruk and
’s involvement in the Allied campaigns in Greece and Crete in the Second World War.
It is vital we take the opportunity each Anzac Day to again remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and express our appreciation to all veterans who have put their lives on the line, and continue to do so, to protect
and our interests.
In 2011, as well as the traditional
at Gallipoli, Australians will take part in Anzac Day
at some of the most significant sites in our wartime history.
Commemorations this year will include
abroad at Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt (France), London (England), the Kokoda Track (Papua New Guinea), Sandakan (Malaysia) and Hellfire Pass (Thailand).
There will also be
in Afghanistan and Timor Leste and the many
around the world where members of the Australian Defence Force are currently serving, carrying on the Anzac tradition, as well as in almost every town and city, however small, across the nation.
We need no reminding that today we are at war and that in Afghanistan, Australian personnel are constantly putting their lives on the line, doing their nation's bidding in the best of the Anzac tradition.
These brave men and women will know that they are in our thoughts this Anzac Day.
As the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, I encourage each and every Australian to find new ways to commemorate Anzac Day keeping the spirit Anzac alive across the globe on 25 April 2011.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has a comprehensive website at www.dva.gov.au/anzac/with information on planned activities, historical overviews of wars and conflicts and other excellent resources which can be downloaded directly from the site.
I encourage anyone who may have personal links to those who have died in conflict to contact the Office of Australian War Graves (firstname.lastname@example.org) which is available to assist in locating the final resting place of a relative. The Overseas War Memorials Search (
) provides information on many of the overseas memorials to the Australian military.
It is important that all Australians take time on Anzac Day to pause and remember the more than 102,000 Australian service personnel who have lost their lives in wars and conflicts since the turn of the 20th century.
We must recognise the sacrifices of our serving men and women who continue to fight and risk their lives in defence of our nation, to uphold our values and for the ideals of a more peaceful and stable world community.
We all owe them, and their families, forever a debt of gratitude.
Lest we forget.
The Hon Warren Snowdon MPMinister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of Anzac
Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203
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