Kiwi’s, Aussies, Americans and other attendees from around the world gathered at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific here April 25 during a solemn ceremony commemorating Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day.
Originally, April 25 honored the members of ANZAC who fought at Gallipoli during World War I. Today, the holiday is comparable to the American Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, as a time Australians and New Zealanders honor the veteran’s of their two countries.
Every year on Oahu, the Australian Consulate and New Zealand Embassy join with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, to host a commemoration ceremony.
“No day better represents the closeness between our two nations than ANZAC day,” said Scott Dewar, Australian Consul-General to the U.S. “Today, ANZAC Day, is the 98th anniversary of the landing on the Gallipoli peninsula on the western side of the Dardanelles in 1915. Today, we commemorate those who, nearly 100 years ago, joined together to fight for common cause, and we commemorate the bond between our nations that they forged.”
New Zealand’s ambassador to the U.S., Mike Moore, was the keynote speaker to the event.
Before his commemorative address, he expressed his regrets for the recent Boston bombings.
“I know I speak for my Australian and New Zealand brothers and sisters when I speak of our sorrow and solidarity with all Americans, given the recent sad events in Boston,” said Moore. “We get Kiwis and Australians died at 9/11 and Madrid, in London, in Bali, a Kiwi boy was even killed in Norway. Distance has never isolated us from the great events that have confronted our civilization, so the struggle continues. Thank you all for sharing our most sacred and solemn day.”
Moore told the story of the ANZACs and how they forged the brotherhood that is now so easily recognizable. As he remembered ANZACs before him, he pointed to the strength of their relationship today and in the future.
“This is what ANZAC means,” Moore said. “It’s a living set of mates and mateships. We are each other’s first responders. If it’s a flood in Queensland, a fire in Victoria or Tasmania, the kiwis will be there. If there is an earthquake in Christchurch the Aussies will be there. You don’t have to call. You don’t have to. We just turn up because that’s the way it is.”