What is ANZAC Day?

ANZAC Day is one of Australia's most important national events. It is the day when the first major military action was fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War 1.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

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How do we celebrate ANZAC Day

It is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of Anzac, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.

In Canberra the Memorial, in close cooperation with Returned and Services League of Australia ACT, hosts the Dawn Service and the National Anzac Day Ceremony.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commemorative Ceremony will be held after the Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Aboriginal Memorial plaque on the side of Mount Ainslie.

In addition to the Dawn Service and National Ceremony on 25 April 2015, the Australian War Memorial will have commemorative activities taking place throughout the Anzac Day long weekend in 2015, to mark the centenary of the landing on Gallipoli.