Combined Maritime Forces Commemorates Anzac Day

Combined Maritime Forces Commemorates Anzac Day

On April 25, 2021, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) members representing Australia, New Zealand and Turkey, as well representatives from other CMF coalition nations, commemorated the 106th anniversary of Anzac Day with a dawn service conducted at CMF Headquarters, in Bahrain.

Sailors and Soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada, United Kingdom and the U.S. stand in formation during an Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, April 25. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dawson Roth)

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australia and New Zealand against Turkish forces during the First World War. It is one of Australia and New Zealand’s most important national occasions. It is also of significant national meaning for Turkey, as all three nations endured heavy losses during the conflict, when the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps set out to capture the Turkish-held Gallipoli Peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the Allied navies.  

Royal Australian Navy Leading Seaman Leah Croker stands in formation alongside Sailors and Soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada, United Kingdom and the U.S. during an Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, April 25. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dawson Roth)

The CMF ceremony included a speech by Capt Bruce Willington of the Royal Australian Navy, and a reading of Ataturk by Cmdr. Ahmet Istanbul of the Turkish Navy. The commemoration also included the laying of commemorative wreaths, readings of the Ode of Remembrance in Turkish, Te Reo, and English, before The Last Post and Reveille rang out across the base. The vigil formally concluded with the national anthems of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey.

Royal Navy Commodore Edward Ahlgren, deputy commander of Combined Maritime Forces, lays a wreath during an Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, April 25. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dawson Roth)
U.S. Army Maj. Brennan Roorda, assistant Army attaché, U.S. Embassy in Bahrain, center, renders a salute during an Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, April 25. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dawson Roth)

The Anzac Day Dawn Service has its origins in the timings of the original landings and attack on the Gallipoli Peninsula. After the war, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they had felt in those quiet, peaceful dawn moments. A dawn vigil became the basis for commemoration in several places thereafter.

 

The Ode of Remembrance

They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them
We will remember them
Lest we forget.

Sailors and Soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Canada, United Kingdom and the U.S. render salutes during an Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day ceremony onboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, April 25. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dawson Roth)
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