Ceremony at Offutt AFB marks ANZAC Day

May 4, 2012

A ceremony Friday at Offutt Air Force Base marked the anniversary of a World War One battle that killed more than 10,000 Australia and New Zealand soldiers.

ANZAC day is a remembrance of an eight-month battle at the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. More than 8,700 Australian soldiers, and 2,721 New Zealand soldiers, died in the battle to capture what is now Instanbul, Turkey. Australia and New Zealand soldiers have fought alongside U.S. troops in every war since then.

Captain Stephen Elms, Liaison Officer for the Royal Australian Navy, says the three nations are important allies and friends. He says Australia is closely aligned with the U.S. on issues such as poverty, non-proliferation, and Middle Eastern issues.

General C. Robert Kehler, Commander of STRATCOM, says he has a vial of sand from Gallipoli on his desk, given to him during a visit to Australia. He says it’s a treasured possession, because it reminds him of the sacrifice made at Gallipoli Peninsula, and the strong relationships between the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

ANZAC day is marked on April 25th in Australia and New Zealand. That’s the day ANZAC forces arrived at Gallipoli.