Anzac Day is about respect: respecting those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice, respecting the veterans who walk amongst us today, and respecting those who continue to serve in today’s Navy, Army and Air Force.
As we pause to reflect on the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, we must also remember their families and loved ones who have supported them in their service.
This date, April 25th, was gifted to us by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, the original Anzacs who landed at Gallipoli.
This year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and the final year of the Anzac Centenary period.
It was 100 years ago today that Australians were involved in one of the Western Front’s most important battles. On the 25th of April 1918, the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux occurred, three years to the day after the first landings at Gallipoli. This was an important victory for the Allies that ended the German advance.
More than 295,000 Australians served on the Western Front and some 46,000 lost their lives.
Australia has never forgotten and we will never forget the events of April 25th, both in Turkey and France.
Anzac Day is enshrined in our culture as one of the most important days on our national calendar.
Today, we pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of more than 102,000 Australians who are listed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.
Today, we offer our thanks to the Australian Defence Force personnel, their families and all veterans, young and old.
It’s about respect.
Lest we forget.