Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Anzac Day

"I remember watching a TV news story some years back about the Anzac Day ceremony at Gallipoli.

"The reporter was interviewing a young Australian wrapped in a flag, and asked her why she had come to Gallipoli.

"'I came to pay my respects,' she said. 'They died so that we could be free.'

"I was utterly depressed by her answer. Gallipoli, of course, had nothing to do with dying for anyone's freedom, and that is the tragedy of the story.

"For that young woman to have travelled all that way, braved the freezing wait for dawn, and still not really have a clue about what happened there and why it was about so much more than pro patria mori, it seemed to me to be another tragedy."

--Ben Knight, "Breaking through our Gallipoli 'myth'", ABC News, 2008 November 2

Gallipoli battlefield cemetery
statue of an Ottoman soldier carrying a wounded ANZAC soldier

"As the cries of the wounded continued and the hot sun rose, the Anzacs were moved to pity. They had never seen such bravery before. A truce was arranged and Anzacs and Turks together helped to bury the dead."

--A.K. Macdougall, Australia in History: Gallipoli and the Middle East, 1915-18, 2004

"We mounted over a plateau and down through gullies filled with thyme, where there lay about 4000 Turkish dead. It was indescribable. One was grateful for the rain and the grey sky.... I talked to the Turks, one of whom pointed to the graves. 'That's politics,' he said."

--Aubrey Herbert, Captain in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, 1915 May


Anonymous said...

'They died so that we could be free.' How? Was there a problem or threat from Ottoman to Australia or New Zealand... :/ Like a joke.
I want to share that letter from Mustafa Kemal to ANZAC mothers:
“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 now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway 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

Julia Gul Arslan ( Australia-Gallipoli Friendship Society inc) said...

The real reason of the war was discovery of the oil!!! Not many mention about it... Hypocrisy of some!