April 28, 2010

The Kaselehlie Press

At 5:30 A.M. on April 25 celebrants gathered at the ANZAC memorial site in Kangaroo Court in Liwy, Pohnpei to commemorate ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day.

The holiday was initially set to commemorate the sacrifices made by ANZACs after they landed on the Gallipoli peninsula as part of an Allied Forces attempt to capture Constantinople (now Instanbul in Turkey.) AN-ZAC forces landed on April 25, 1915 in what was to be a quick operation. Instead it lasted for 8 months. All of the Allied Forces took heavy casualties and suffered severe hardships. Over 10,000 AN ZAC soldiers were killed during the conflict.

April 25 was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916 and became one of the most important days of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand as citizens remembered the sacrifices of those soldiers who gave their lives in Gallipoli. In subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include Australians and New Zealanders killed in all the military operations in which they have been involved.

The timing of the commemoration in Pohnpei was traditional for the celebration. It was held at dawn because that was the time of initial attack in Gallipoli.

Commemorative wreaths were placed at the site of the Pohnpei memorial on ANZAC day.

Wreaths were placed by Australian Ambassador the Honorable Susan Cox OAM on behalf of all Australians. Mr. Chan Tallon placed a wreath on behalf of all New Zealanders. The Vice President of the Feder-ated States of Micronesia the Honorable Mr Alik Alik placed a wreath on behalf of the National Government and the people of FSM. American Ambassador the Honorable

Peter Prahar placed a wreath on behalf of all Americans. Japanese Ambassador the Honorable Shoji Sato placed a wreath on behalf of the people of Japan. Charged' Affaires for China Mr Bao placed a wreath on behalf of the people of China. The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat the Hon Tuiloma Neroni Slade placed a wreath on behalf of all Pacific Island Forum member states. CPOMT Dean Moore placed a wreath on behalf of the Australian Defence Force. Major Frank Semens (Rtd) placed a wreath on behalf of Micronesian members of the US Armed forces and Micronesian service Veterans. The Honorable Marcelo Peterson placed a wreath on behalf of all other Pacific Island service Veterans and non-ANZAC servicemen and women. Jaxon Campbell and Joshua Ruhl, the young sons of Royal Australian Navy Officers serving in Pohnpei placed a wreath on behalf of the children of Australia.

As the sun rose in Pohnpei participants took part in a traditional gunfire breakfast at the Kangaroo Court.