Today we acknowledged ANZAC Day with a very special service at the Australian International School Phnom Penh.

On 25 April 1915 the first Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp soldiers) supported by their commonwealth partners Britain, Canada and India, landed at Gallipoli, Turkey. Many lost their lives that day, and a great many more died in the weeks that followed.

“Today we learn and reflect about history, so that it may never be repeated
Today we pay tribute
Today we acknowledge the spirit of Australia
Today we acknowledge those that gave their lives in service to the nation”

When World War I broke out in 1914, Australia had been a nation for only 13 years (following the federation of its six colonies on 1 January 1901).

The story of ANZAC creates the birth of a nation- a young country AUSTRALIA.

World War I saw Australians come together to defend their nation for the first time. Even though they were still under British command, Australian soldiers wore their own country’s uniform, obeyed the orders of their own officers, and fought and died under their own flag, a proud nation. When the government initially called for 20 000 volunteers for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), they received 50 000 responses.

During World War I, four out of every ten Australian men between the ages of 18 and 45 joined up. About 330 000 were sent to fight overseas. More than 59 000 were killed. Another 167 000 were wounded and 4000 were taken prisoner.

By displaying the characteristics of the ANZAC spirit, comradeship, unselfishness, courage and tenacity of spirit, we can enrich the Australian tradition.

We enrich the AISPP tradition.

On Anzac Day we pay tribute to all current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, those lost in training, on operations, the wounded, injured and ill, and their families affected by loss.

May they rest in peace.
We honour them.
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

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