25 April 2006


BerlinBear avatarToday, 25th April, is ANZAC Day, the day on which Australians and New Zealanders commemmorate the disastrous failure of the Gallipoli landings on this day in 1915, as well as remembering and honouring all those whose have served and fallen in war. It's a day of solemn remembrance, and a day of recognition of the futility of war.

Last year on this day I was in Berlin and attended an ANZAC Day memorial service, which I reported on in detail here. This year, as I am currently in Trier, there is no service I can attend, so I will just have to recognize the day in my own personal way. For this post, I'm going to let the words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the commander of the Turkish troops at Gallipoli, who went on to become the founder of modern Turkey, do the talking for me. I find these words very moving and poignant. They give me goose pimples every time.

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.

Kemal Atatürk, 1934