The Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell delivered this year’s commemorative address at the Anzac Day dawn service at the Anzac Cove Commemorative Site on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey.
General Campbell stood at the landing site of the original Australian soldiers on that morning over a century before. He said it was the stories of the soldiers themselves that brought their legend to life.
“Turkey, New Zealand and Australia are forever connected by our shared history in this place.”
“It is the shades of grey which make the Anzacs so compelling,” General Campbell said to the silent crowd.
“A century of remembrance, a century of scholarship, has revealed their complexity. They were from the city and the country, they were young and older.
“They felt fear and anger, sorrow and joy.
“They were individuals who have become a collective group but it is in the detail of their individual stories that we come as close as we can to understanding their experience. I encourage you to seek out those stories.”
Visitors from Australia, New Zealand and all across the world stood shoulder to shoulder in quiet contemplation during the service.
Their presence made a promise of remembrance and to honour the Anzacs and their spirit of courage, endurance and mateship.
“Lest we forget.”
“Here, at what was once known as North Beach, we can no longer see the piers, supplies, mules, field hospitals and aid posts which crowded this area in the latter months of the campaign,” General Campbell said.
“The sounds, smells and sights of the war are long gone but the stories remain with us.
“Turkey, New Zealand and Australia are forever connected by our shared history in this place.”A
Towards the end of the ceremony, the morning light crept over the water at Anzac Cove and illuminated the silent crowd that stared out to the calm Aegean Sea.
General Campbell completed his address with a few key simple words.
“For what they have done, this we will do,” he said.
“Lest we forget.”