ANZAC Day is commemorated on April 25 to mark the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
On April 25 1915, Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli and were met with fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. The military action was originally planned as a bold attack aimed to withdraw Turkey from the war, however the campaign quickly became a stalemate lasting for eight months and resulting in over 8,000 deaths among Australian soldiers. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardship.
The news of the failed military objectives of the Gallipoli campaign had a momentous impact on Australians at home and April 25 soon became the day on which we remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.
Today however, ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in 1915; it is a day when we remember the service and sacrifice of all Australian servicemen and women from every conflict, past and present.