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Visitors attend the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach, the site of the April 25, 1915, World War I landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, early Monday, April 25, 2022. Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations' dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields for a dawn service Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations’ dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields at Gallipoli for a solemn service at dawn Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war.

As the sun rose, participants held a minute of silence to reflect on the sacrifices of tens of thousands of soldiers from the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, known as Anzacs, who landed on the beaches at Gallipoli, in northwest Turkey.

“At this time 107 years ago, on ships that covered the ocean off this tiny bay, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders were preparing to land on this rugged coast,” New Zealand army chief, Maj. Gen. John Boswell, said during the ceremony. “For all but a few, this was to be the first experience of the horrors of combat.”

“Most were convinced that, as one New Zealand soldier wrote in his story: ‘It will be the greatest day in our lives.’ The sunrise they witnessed that day was for all too many to be the last they ever saw,” he continued. “Across our countries, home after home was plunged into mourning.”

The Gallipoli campaign aimed to secure a naval route from the Mediterranean Sea to Istanbul through the Dardanelles, and knock the Ottomans out of the war. The April 25, 1915, landings marked the start of a fierce battle that lasted for eight months.

More than 44,000 Allied soldiers and 86,000 Ottoman soldiers died.

Visitors attend the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach, the site of the April 25, 1915, World War I landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, early Monday, April 25, 2022. Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations' dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields for a dawn service Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)A pipe band marches during the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)A piper is silhouetted against the trees of Polygon Wood during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)Two Irish soldiers place a wooden cross at the grave of a New Zealand soldier during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)A woman takes a wooden cross out of a basket to place on a grave during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

 

The battlefields and cemeteries at the site in Canakkale, in northwestern Turkey, have become a place of pilgrimage for many Australians and New Zealanders who sleep on the beaches until the start of the dawn service. But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic kept the number of visitors small this year.

Among those who made it to the ceremony was 27-year-old Taylor Murphy from Victoria, Australia, who said the pros of being at Gallipoli “outweighs the cons of the pandemic.”

“It feels quite surreal to be here,” she said. “We are feeling quite emotional.”

Some 2,700 kilometers northwest of Gallipoli at the other extremity of Europe’s frontline of World War I, Australian and New Zealand officials gathered in Flanders Fields to remember, but equally to assess the present by centering on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“War has returned to Europe in the form of Russia’s brutal and illegal invasion of Ukraine. Once again, our people, Belgians, Australians, New Zealanders and our friends and allies stand shoulder to shoulder with one another in our support for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law,” said New Zealand ambassador Diana Reaich.

The war, which has entered its third month, was also on the mind of Australian envoy Caroline Millar, who said that the cornerstones of post-World War II were being put to the test.

Visitors attend the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach, the site of the April 25, 1915, World War I landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, early Monday, April 25, 2022. Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations' dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields for a dawn service Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)Veterans in wheelchairs take part in the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)Spectators wave Australian flags during the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)Buglers prepare to play the Last Post during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)A red poppy rests on the headstone of any unknown World War I soldier during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)Headlights of a car illuminate the the trees at Polygon Wood prior to an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)Buglers play the Last Post during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

 

“We also recommit in the words of the 1945 Charter of the United Nations to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Tragically, we are called to honor that commitment again today with the terrible violence of Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine,” Millar said.

In Australia’s largest city, Sydney, downtown Martin Place was filled to capacity with tens of thousands at its dawn service. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and deputy opposition leader Richard Marles acknowledged Ukraine’s fight for freedom when they spoke at a service in the northern city of Darwin, which was devastated by Japanese bombing during World War II.

Australia did not restrict the numbers attending its commemorations for the first time during the pandemic. The service in Auckland, New Zealand, was initially planned to be closed to the public, but a veterans’ association intervened and a smaller-than-usual crowd was allowed to attend. A Ukrainian flag was flown above the Auckland War Memorial Museum ceremony.

Monday was the first such commemoration of casualties of all wars since both Australia and New Zealand withdrew troops from Afghanistan last year.

People spend the night before attending the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach, the site of the April 25, 1915, World War I landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, early Monday, April 25, 2022. Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations' dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields for a dawn service on Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Veteran Berick Bouvier is pushed in his wheelchair during the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)A young boy holds an Australian flag as he watches the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)A bugler plays the Last Post during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)Buglers play the Last Post during an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)A New Zealand soldier participates in an ANZAC Day dawn service at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, Belgium on Monday, April 25, 2022. ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served in all wars. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The tragic fate of troops from Australia and New Zealand in the Gallipoli campaign is believed to have inspired the two nations to carve national identities distinct from the British. Anzac Day is marked as a coming of age for the two nations.

Gallipoli is also considered to be an important turning point in the history of modern Turkey. It was at Gallipoli that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk rose to prominence as a commander of the Turkish forces and went on to lead Turkey’s War of Independence and found the Turkish Republic.

On Monday, hundreds of Turkish students marched along a 5-kilometer (3-mile) track to honor the soldiers of the Turkish 57th Infantry Regiment, who were among the first to defend against the Gallipoli landings.

Ataturk — who was Lt.Col. Mustafa Kemal at the time — is known to have commanded the regiment: “I do not order you to attack, I order you to die.”

On Sunday, the remains of 17 missing French soldiers were handed over to French military officials and put to rest alongside other fallen comrades during separate remembrance ceremonies that were held for French, British and other soldiers. Their remains were found during restoration work on a castle and surrounding areas on the Canakkale Peninsula.

Only one out of the 17 French soldiers — Cpl. Paul Roman, of the 1st Engineers Regiment — has been formally identified.

People spend the night before attending the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach, the site of the April 25, 1915, World War I landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, early Monday, April 25, 2022. Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations' dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields for a dawn service on Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)People spend the night before attending the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove beach, the site of the April 25, 1915, World War I landing of the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  on the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey, early Monday, April 25, 2022. Travelers from Australia and New Zealand joined Turkish and other nations' dignitaries at the former World War I battlefields for a dawn service on Monday to remember troops killed during an unsuccessful British-led campaign that aimed to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)A youth marching band performs during the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)Veterans parade during the Anzac Day march in Sydney, Monday, April 25, 2022. Australia and New Zealand commemorate Anzac Day every April 25, the date in 1915 when the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landed on Turkey in an ill-fated campaign that created the soldiers' first combat of World War I. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

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