Time to say thank you to those who served

Alpine Observer - - News -

ON Anzac Day we com­mem­o­rate the an­niver­sary of Aus­tralian and New Zealand sol­diers land­ing on the Gal­lipoli Penin­sula in Turkey, 1915, dur­ing the First World War.

It was the start of an eight-month cam­paign where more than 50,000 Aus­tralians are es­ti­mated to have fought, some 8700 lost their lives and al­most 18,000 were wounded.

It was the birth­place of the Anzac leg­end, where Aus­tralians forged a rep­u­ta­tion for brav­ery, in­ge­nu­ity and mate­ship that has be­come cen­tral to our na­tional char­ac­ter.

These are the traits we re­spect and hon­our in ev­ery man and woman who has served in de­fence of our na­tion.

This year we also con­tinue to com­mem­o­rate the role of the Aus­tralian troops on the Western Front with the Cen­te­nary of the Bat­tle of Bul­le­court in France and the Bat­tle of Messines in Bel­gium.

At Poly­gon Wood, near Ypres in Bel­gium, there will be a ser­vice com­mem­o­rat­ing the cen­te­nary of Aus­tralian in­volve­ment in the Third Bat­tle of Ypres.

We must never for­get that more Aus­tralians lost their lives in 1917 due to war than in any other year of our his­tory.

Later this year we will mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Beer­sheba in Is­rael.

This year also marks sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­saries from the Sec­ond World War.

We have al­ready com­mem­o­rated the 75th an­niver­sary of the Fall of Singapore and the Bombing of Dar­win, and later this year we hon­our the Bat­tle of the Co­ral Sea, Bat­tle of Milne Bay, Aus­tralia’s in­volve­ment at El Alamein and the end of the Kokoda cam­paign.

On Anzac Day we also pay tribute to those mem­bers of the Aus­tralian De­fence Force cur­rently on ac­tive ser­vice overseas, in­clud­ing in Afghanistan and the Mid­dle East.

So when you see some­one wear­ing medals on the left-hand side of their chest, please shake their hand and say, ‘thank-you for your ser­vice’.

We owe our ser­vice per­son­nel an im­mea­sur­able debt of grat­i­tude. I en­cour­age every­one to par­tic­i­pate in their lo­cal Anzac Day com­mem­o­ra­tions and to say ‘thank-you’ to those who have served our coun­try.

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