100th Anniversary of Anzac Day
Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 25, 2015
I’m honoured to join you here today.
We gather on this special Anzac Day to mark the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign.
Gallipoli is considered a nation-defining event for Australia, New Zealand, and what is today known as Turkey.
Those who served made unimaginable sacrifices. We must not forget that those who lost their lives—on either side—had family, friends and loved ones who mourned for them. And those who survived were forever changed by the brutality and hardship they experienced. It now falls to us to remember their service and to honour their lives.
For Canada, this centennial is an opportunity not only to pay tribute, but also to say thank you to those Australians and New Zealanders who watched out for soldiers from Newfoundland.
I’m sure that those young Newfoundlanders who arrived at Gallipoli—their first real battle—were certainly shocked at what they found. And those who did survive wouldn’t have without learning from the experienced and knowledgeable Australian and New Zealand soldiers.
A century has passed, yet Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders still share so much. We are friends on the international stage and members of the Commonwealth of Nations. I believe that much of our success has come from genuine links forged by our people. Gallipoli is one such link, one that will endure always.
Those soldiers fought in that battle out of a sense of duty to their respective countries. Despite their participation, they were hopeful that their children and grandchildren could be spared such a fate. We still hold such hopes.
Our men and women in uniform continue to serve our countries. We owe them and all who have served a debt of gratitude.
It’s hard to imagine the scope and devastation of the First World War. That’s why we need such institutions as the Canadian War Museum, and displays such the one marking the centennial of the Gallipoli Campaign. Through pictures and stories, we can get a glimpse of that terrible time, the people who lived through it and those who lost their lives.
On this Anzac Day, and on this 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, I hope that we can all remember the sacrifice and the bravery of those who fought for their country. And let’s continue to strive toward peace, which requires our constant attention and vigilance.
Lest we forget.