News: Marines honor ANZAC Day with Australians
Story by Sgt. Sarah Fiocco
DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia – It was April 25, 1915, when the first 140 soldiers in four boats set out to capture Gallipoli Peninsula, not knowing that only 38 of them would make it to shore alive.
This day marked the first campaign of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that led to major casualties during World War I.
More than 80 years later, April 25, known as ANZAC Day, commemorates Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars and peacekeeping operations.
Marines with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin observed a Dawn Service, the opening ceremony of ANZAC Day, aboard Robertson Barracks and marched beside their Australian counterparts in parades throughout Palmerston and downtown Darwin in their allies’ memory.
“ANZAC Day is about camaraderie with your mates,” said Ken Young, a Vietnam veteran, who marched in the Darwin parade alongside other veterans. “It’s about getting together, and not glorifying war, but remembering what you did, your mates and the people you met.”
During the parades, Marines joined every Australian branch of service in formation and proudly marched as crowds of locals gave a round of applause in their honor.
“We had a really warm welcome, and they all seem to enjoy the fact that we’re down here with the Australian Army,” said Cpl. Anthony Taylor, squad leader, 1st Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, MRF-D, and a Philadelphia, Pa., native. “The entire crowd was going nuts when we were walking past them.”
Members of the Australian Army also expressed enthusiasm about celebrating ANZAC Day with their American counterparts.
“It was good to speak to [the Marines] and share our different experiences,” said Australian Army Pvt. Scott Prestage, 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. “It was good to recognize our partnership between the two countries and our alliance. It really shows that our relationship is building.”