Tomorrow is Anzac Day. It’s a day we remember New Zealand soldiers who died in wars.
ANZAC means Australia, New Zealand Army Corps. These were soldiers from the two countries who fought together at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. This was during the First World War. The soldiers began their attack at dawn on April 25th which is why we remember that day and that time of day. It was a disastrous defeat. So many ANZAC soldiers died in that campaign.
While this event was more than 100 years ago, ceremonies to remember that day are still part of our tradition. These days we remember other New Zealand soldiers who have fought in peace-keeping efforts under the United Nations.
Many small towns throughout New Zealand have war memorials listing the names of soldiers from their area who died during the first or second world wars. Usually ANZAC ceremonies are held at that war memorial at dawn on April 25th. In bigger cities, the ceremonies are held in a large, outdoor space.
This year our Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy and her husband will attend an ANZAC ceremony in Gallipoli, Turkey.
• disastrous (adj) from disaster (n) – really terrible
• defeat (n) – opposite of victory
• war memorial – usually a monument (like a tower) made of stone, or sometimes a bronze statue
• ceremony (n) – like a church service, usually soldiers march then there are speeches and prayers