AUSTRALIANS around the world have commemorated* Anzac Day to honour those who have fought and died at war, including Australian soldiers involved in current conflicts.
Anzac Day falls on April 25 each year and is a public holiday in Victoria.
The word Anzac comes from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. These soldiers, also called diggers*, fought in WWI more than a century ago.
The date of Anzac Day is significant because it marks the anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in WWI, a battle in which thousands of soldiers died.
Despite a cold and wet Melbourne morning, crowds in their thousands gathered at dawn services across the city with the largest crowd at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.
Serving infantryman* Jason Foley was among those in the crowd at the Shrine. Mr Foley has served in Somalia and was wearing an infantry combat badge and an active service medal.
“It shows a bit of respect, for what other people have lost and what people are still losing these days,” Mr Foley said about his first experience of the dawn service at the Shrine.
After braving the wintry conditions and an early start, Melburnians lined city streets to watch the Anzac Day march.
Returned service men and women, defence force personnel*, families and marching bands made their way along St Kilda Rd, cheered on by the crowds.
In Canberra, indigenous veterans lead a march for the first time in the nation’s capital.
A crowd of 38,000 gathered at Canberra’s Australian War Memorial for the national dawn service, which began at 5.30am.
Combat engineer and Paralympic gold medallist Curtis McGrath delivered a moving address*, focusing on the Anzac tradition of mateship.
In his address he said that the true measure of a nation’s decency was how it cared for the wounded men and women who had given so much for their country.
AROUND THE WORLD
Across the world Australians visited locations in Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific where our diggers have fought in various wars.
While the number of Australians at Gallipoli, now named Anzac Cove, was down from pervious years, hundreds still made the pilgrimage*.
James Hayes, 63, made the trip with his son, ski instructor Jordan Hayes, 28.
“As an Australian this is an important part of our history as a nation and it is something I think all Australians should do,” said James as he huddled up to his son with blankets and sleeping bags.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made a surprise visit to Australian soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said it had been “an honour to meet the servicemen and women in the Middle East, to thank the Anzacs of today for their service”.
Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove delivered an address at a dawn service at Bomana War Cemetery in Papua New Guinea, paying tribute to one of the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, 91-year-old Havala Lavla.
The Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels was the name given to local PNG people who helped Australian soldiers along the Kokoda Track in WWII.
In France, more than 3000 people were expected to attend the dawn service at the Australian National Memorial site near the town of Villers-Bretonneux while in London, Prince Andrew joined commemorations at Hyde Park and Westminster Abbey.
commemorated: remembered and honoured
infantryman: person in charge of equipment
a ddress: speech
pilgrimage: important trip
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Activity 1. Anzac Day Crossword
Use a piece of grid paper to create a crossword puzzle using the following words from the article.
Feel free to add some more words of your own that have significance to Anzac Day.
Each word will need a clue. This could be a definition of the word or a sentence with the word missing.
ANZAC, GALLIPOLI, DIGGERS, SERVICE, SHRINE, REMEMBRANCE, FUZZY WUZZY, COMMEMORATED, DAWN, KOKODA, MARCH, WAR
Extension: Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels
Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove paid tribute to one of the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, 91-year-old Havala Lavla.
Who were the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels? The following sites have some information about the People from Papua New Guinea. Why were they important to Australians during WWII? Why did our Governor-General pay tribute to them?
Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities — History
Activity 2: Describe a service
Dawn services and marches were held in many towns across Australia with the biggest ones held in major cities.
Did you attend a service or march on Anzac Day?
Take a moment to think about what this experience was like.
Can you describe the mood of the crowd?
How did the weather impact the event?
What significance did it have to you?
What about those around you?
Write either a paragraph or short poem about attending the service.
Use lots of descriptive language so that the reader can get a good picture in their mind of what it was like to attend.
If you were unable to attend a service on Anzac Day — perhaps you have attended one in the past that you can write about or have seen some of the services on television.
Alternatively, you can interview a classmate who attended a service and share his/her experience.
Draw a picture of something about Anzac Day that holds significance to you. Perhaps it is a bugler sounding Last Post, or the Cenotaph with wreaths laid around it, people wearing war medals (their own or a family members). There are many options.
Try and make your picture as detailed as possible.
Write a sentence or two to explain the significance of your picture.
Time: allow 45 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Humanities — History, Visual Arts
Activity 1. Thank You Letter
Think about the life you have, the world you live in, your family and your possessions.
Anzac Day commemorates Australia and New Zealand soldiers who died at war.
It is important not to take for granted what you have, and to think about what they all did, and are still doing, in order for us to live safe and free.
Your task is to a write a letter to the RSL or the armed services, thanking them for what they have done, or are currently doing.
Use emotive language and respect to show your appreciation.
Time: allow 35 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Big Write and VCOP
Activity 2. In the eyes of a soldier or their family
Anzac Day is about paying our respects to all active and past service men and woman.
This may include a parent, grandparent or someone you know.
Your task is to choose to write a letter home to a family member, a journal entry in a diary, a poem or a letter from a family member to a soldier on duty.
Your writing can be from the eyes of any soldier or family member from WWI onwards.
Time: allow at least 35 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP and I.C.T
Activities provided by Andrell Education www.andrelleducation.com.au
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