TAMPA, Fla. –
Service members and families from U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) gathered pre-dawn at Macdill Air Force Base to commemorate ANZAC Day alongside of both command’s Australian, New Zealand, and Turkish representatives, April 25, 2022.
The day commemorates when Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
“The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day,” said Royal Australian Air Force Air Commodore, Harvey Reynolds. “More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.”
New Zealand Army Lt. Col. Jason Hutchings explained the sense of unity that the Gallipoli campaign fostered between New Zealanders and Australians.
“Up and down New Zealand at memorials big and small, New Zealanders will be gathering together to remember loved ones who have served their country in times of war. The same will be true in Australia. Australians will gather as the dawn breaks there,” said Hutchings. “New Zealanders have stood with Australians in every theatre of conflict in the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. Neither country has faced an enemy without the other.”
Senior leaders representing partner nations presented wreaths to commemorate sacrifices made, and a two-minute moment of silence concluded the ceremony.
“On this ANZAC Day, on this base, with our friends and allies, it serves to remind us that none of our countries fight alone,” said Reynolds.