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Australia and New Zealand mark Anzac Day with return of public ceremony

CM 24/04/2021


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Thousands of people gathered across New Zealand and Australia on Sunday to honor military personnel on Anzac Day, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to commemorate privately in driveways and on balconies.

Anzac Day originally commemorated a bloody battle on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey during World War One. On April 25, 1915, thousands of troops from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) were among a larger Allied force that landed on the narrow beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula, in an ill-fated campaign that would claim more than 130,000 lives.
Today, Anzac Day honors all troops from all conflicts.
On Sunday, crowds at typical dawn services were limited due to COVID-19 public health rules, but thousands were allowed to gather.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended a ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial Museum where she praised the dedication of women who have served.
“These were the women who paved the way for women to be fully integrated into our defense force we know today, in our air force, our navy and in our army,” Ardern said.
In neighboring Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison attended a dawn service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra with about 4,000 people.
After announcing last week that Australia will withdraw its remaining 80 troops from Afghanistan in line with US plans, Morrison paid a special tribute to the 41 Australians who died in that conflict.
“It’s been our longest war,” Morrison said. “The world is safer from the threat of terrorism than when the twin towers were felled almost 20 years ago. But we remain vigilant. However, this has come at great cost.”
Ceremonies were canceled in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, and the nearby Peel region, where more than 2 million people were under a strict, three-day lockdown after a small COVID-19 outbreak..
However, there has not been a major community outbreak for months in neither Australia nor New Zealand, allowing people to travel freely between their countries as of late, dine out, gather in crowds, and stop wearing face masks in most places.
Border closure, together with snap lockdowns, swift tracking and high community compliance with health measures have made both countries successful in curbing the pandemic. Australia has suffered almost 29,700 infections and 910 deaths, while New Zealand has had 2,245 cases and 26 deaths.
Memorials for Anzac are located in Beersheba in southern Israel and Tzemach in northern Israel, as Anzac soldiers fought a number of battles throughout the region.
A key battle took place at Beersheba in 1917, which marked a turning point during World War I between the British and Ottoman armies, with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade taking the city in a daylong battle. Just two days later, the Balfour Declaration was issued.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

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The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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