Monday, April 24, 2017

NATIONAL_ Anzac Day 2017: Dawn services and marches in Australia and overseas



Anzac Day 2017: Dawn services and marches in Australia and overseas

April 25, 20176:47am

Thousands of Australians will honour Anzac Day at home and overseas. Picture: AFP/Saeed Khan

Staff writers and Justin Lees, News Corp Australia Network

AS THOUSANDS gathered to commemorate Anzac Day at dawn services in Australia and around the world, Malcolm Turnbull made an unannounced visit to Australian troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The Prime Minister meeting and thanking Australian Defence Force mentors and force protection at Qargha, Afghanistan,” the official account of his office tweeted early this morning.

Australia has 270 defence personnel deployed mostly in the capital Kabul, where they provide support and security along with some mentoring recruits at the Afghan National Military Academy.

Malcolm Turnbull meets Aussie troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Picture: Twitter/@thepmoSource:Supplied

VIDEO:PM makes Anzac visit to Afghanistan, Iraq

Since 2002, 42 Australian troops have been killed in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.

During his visit on Sunday and Monday, Mr Turnbull paid tribute to their sacrifice.

“This trip was not just an occasion to celebrate Anzac Day with Australians (and New Zealanders) who are serving on the front lines, it was an invaluable opportunity to assess the progress of the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan,” the prime minister said in a statement.

“By confronting and defeating the terrorists on the battlefield, we are helping make the world — and Australia — a safer place.”

Photo: Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull looks at an helicopter passing overhead at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul. Picture: AFP/Jonathan ErnstSource:AFP

Photo: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met with Australian troops at Camp Taji during a visit to Iraq on Sunday. Picture: Andrew MearesSource:Supplied

Photo: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull received a Maori welcome ceremony from the New Zealand troops when he arrived to meet with Australian troops in Camp Taji, Iraq. Picture: Andrew MearesSource:Supplied

Mr Turnbull also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in Baghdad and Afghan Ashraf President Ghani in Kabul during the trip.

He also held a meeting with US Secretary of Defence James Mattis, where he reiterated Australia’s commitment to defeating terrorism and working alongside US, NATO and Afghan partners to build Afghanistan’s security institutions.

Photo: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met Iraqi Prime Minister Dr Haider Al-Abadi at the Government Palace in Baghdad on Sunday. Picture: Andrew MearesSource:Supplied


About 20,000 people packed the length of Martin Place at 4.30am, including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Governor David Hurley, on the 90th anniversary of Sydney’s first dawn service.

Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, gave the Anzac address noting that Australia has lost 102,825 men in war since 1861.

“This morning we don’t boast about triumphs or victories,” he said. “We remember the sacrifice of those who were prepared to stand up for someone else, for people that believed that there was something bigger, more important than just their own interests and were prepared to put others ahead of themselves and put their lives at risk of because of those beliefs.”

More than 100,000 people are expected to line the streets for the annual march to Hyde Park following the service.

The Governor of New South Wales David Hurley (centre), his wife Linda Hurley (centre, left) and NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian (centre, right), sing a hymn at the Cenotaph during the Anzac Day dawn service at Martin Place in Sydney. Picture: AAP Image/Paul MillerSource:AAP

A member of the Catafalque Party stands near the Cenotaph during the Anzac Day dawn service at Martin Place in Sydney. Picture:AAP Image/Paul MillerSource:AAP

The Last Post is played during Anzac Day commemorations in Martin Place, Sydney #anzacday

— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 24, 2017

MELBOURNE: The main dawn service is at 6am at the Shrine of Remembrance on St Kilda Road. The veterans’ march leaves from the Princes Bridge, near Flinders Street Station, at 9am and marches to the Shrine at 9am.

People gather at the Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remembrance ahead of the ANZAC Day dawn service in Melbourne. Picture: Hamish BlairSource:News Corp Australia

CANBERRA: Rain hasn’t deterred thousands from remembering Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial for the Caberra’s dawn service, with the commemoration starting at 5.30am in the cool Canberra darkness.

Former sapper-turned-Paralympian gold medallist Curtis McGrath, who lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan, delivered the commemorative address.

“On this Anzac day, we look back on a century of courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice,” he told the crowd. “We honour those who have died and suffered through the old and the new wars.”

Beautiful, honest & thoughtful speech by @CurtMcGrath at Canberra's #AnzacDay #DawnService. Thank you, Curtis, for your service & sacrifice.
— FionaJane (@FionaBatty) April 24, 2017

He recounted how he came to be wounded while clearing IEDs on August 23, 2012.

“In a violent, hot explosion, the ground beneath me erupted, taking both my legs instantly,” he said.

“Somehow, in a state of bewilderment and physical wreckage, bizarre moments of clarity and focus took hold. I found myself trying to do my own first aid and instructing the men and how to administer the morphine. Meanwhile, my mates wrestled with tourniquets on what was left of my legs as they swallowed their own terror and tears.” He said joined the army through a sense of duty, and called on Australia to take care of those who return from conflicts.

“May we, as a nation, continue to provide those men and women who have served us with the care they need.”

The Stone of Remembrance is seen in front of the Australian War Memorial during the Anzac Day dawn service in Canberra. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas CochSource:AAP

BRISBANE: The dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance kicked off at 4.28am, with hundreds filling Anzac Square and the Adelaide Street overpass.

Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey told the crowd the Brisbane service was one of many “solemn, profound and grateful” gatherings across Australia and New Zealand.

“This occasion engenders huge emotional effect nationally and individually — and rightly so,” he said, as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk looked on.

The governor’s remarks were followed by the strains of a lone piper, which echoed off the boundaries of the still-dark Anzac Square. The Anzac Day parade starts at 10am on the corner of George and Adelaide Streets in the CBD.

A very packed #anzac square in Brisbane for the dawn service @abcnews
— Louisa Rebgetz (@louisarebgetz) April 24, 2017

GOLD COAST: The centenary of the successful charge by Australian cavalry in the WWI Battle of Beersheba has been honoured at an Anzac Day dawn service on the Gold Coast.

A company of 12 light horseman led veterans into the service at Elephant Rock on Currumbin on the city’s southern coast.

An estimated crowd of 15,000, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, gathered in the shadow of the rock, which was lit red for the service. The service, one of the biggest regional services in Queensland, began with a didgeridoo being played on the base of the rock.

The Anzac Day dawn service held by the Currumbin RSL at Elephant Rock on Currumbin Beach. Picture: AAP Image/Dave HuntSource:AAP

A lone piper then took over from the top of the rock where Australian and New Zealand flags flew at half mast.

The service will conclude with the annual burial at sea where the ashes of 34 servicemen and their family members will be scattered on the waves by local rowers from the Currumbin Vikings surf lifesaving club.

ADELAIDE: The dawn service begins at 6am at the South Australian National War Memorial, North Terrace.The parade will commence at 9.30am on North Terrace from the SA National War Memorial and ends at the Cross of Sacrifice in Pennington Gardens, North Adelaide.

PERTH: The dawn service is at 6am at Kings Park, while the march leaves from the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace at 9am.

DARWIN: The traditional dawn service at 6am at the Darwin Cenotaph will be followed by the march up the Esplanade at 9am.

HOBART: The dawn service is at the Cenotaph at 6am. The march leaves Macquarie Street at 11am. The main commemorative service, including the wreath laying, begins at 11.40am at the Cenotaph.

VIDEO: Caution to keep Anzac respect in mind

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove delivered his Anzac Day address as dawn began to break during the service at Bomana War Cemetery, paying tribute to Australian heroes and one of the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, 91-year-old Havala Lavla, present with his family among the many locals, Aussies and Kiwis gathered there.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also spoke, as did PNG Prime Minister Sir Peter O’Neill.

An enduring theme was acknowledging all those who died in Australia’s desperate WWII struggle for survival — before, during and after the Kokoda Track campaign.

“They are all heroes,” said Sir Peter.

In a moving moment, Sir Peter took Mr Lavla by the hand and they walked together, along with the Governor-General’s wife Lynne, to the memorial to lay a wreath.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove holds the hand of one of the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. Picture: Justin LeesSource:Supplied

The Angels — local PNG tribespeople — became legends among the hard-pressed Aussie troops for their tireless work ferrying supplies forward and wounded back.

As a deep-voiced choir sang hymns, numerous wreaths were laid — by representatives of military units and civilian organisations and nations; among them the Japanese ambassador.

Relatives of many buried here also paid tribute — among them Arthur and Patricia Jackson, children of air hero John Jackson.

As the reveille was sounded, following the last post and minutes silence, the band swelled and helicopters, lights gleaming, swooped in from the mist-shrouded, hilly jungle and flew low over the cemetery.

One of the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels is honoured in PNG. Picture: Justin LeesSource:Supplied

Mr Nagi was given a medal at the end of the service, by Sir Peter who emotionally thanked the 91-year-old.

Mr Nagi, who was with his grandson Jack and great-grandson Rex, seven, told News Corp he carried his first stretcher case as a 15-year-old. He also helped lay communications cables.

“This is a very emotional day for me,” he said. “A sad day.”

In a message to Australia he added: “I really want people to come and see the Track because of all the people who died.” Moments later he was surrounded by well-wishers.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, his wife Lynne and one of the last surviving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels pay tribute in PNG. Picture: Justin LeesSource:Supplied


Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will represent the government at Gallipoli on Anzac Day amid heightened security following intelligence suggesting terrorists may try to target the commemorations.

In a statement, Ms Bishop said she would also attend Turkish, French, Irish and Commonwealth services on the peninsula.

She will deliver a remembrance speech at the dawn service and also speak at the memorial service at Lone Pine. She will then take part in the New Zealand memorial service at Chunuk Bair.

“I will convey the deep appreciation of our government and the Australian people to the Turkish government and the people of Turkey for continuing to uphold the memory of those who died at Gallipoli, and in particular, for the manner in which they respect, care for and maintain the sites of sacrifice which are treasured by Australia and New Zealand,” she said.

The Australian government’s Smartraveller advice is for Australians to “exercise a high degree of caution” at Gallipoli and Turkey overall, saying “there is a high threat of terrorism”.



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