Fort Rucker Australians, New Zealenders celebrate Army Corps Day

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Some international servicemembers training here celebrate their military heritage April 24 during the annual Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day sunrise service.

The observance begins at 5:15 a.m. at Fort Rucker's Veterans Park near the Daleville Gate. ANZAC Day is Australia's equivalent to the United States' Memorial Day, according to Lt. Col. David Burke, Australian Army liaison officer.

"It marks the anniversary of the first major military action for Australia and New Zealand during the first World War," he said.

The day marks ANZAC's sunrise landing on Gallipoli in 1915, Burke said. Services commemorating the milestone are held in every Australian and New Zealand town, as well as any foreign locations the countries' servicemembers are stationed.

Burke said he hopes American Soldiers attend to learn about their Australian counterparts' history through various presentations and traditions shared at the event.

"It's a shared understanding of the military," he said. "Also, Australians and Americans have a common history. Australians have fought alongside the Americans in nearly every major conflict since that time. This day is special to Australians because they've left us a legacy of courage, integrity and service. It's a time for us to recognize their sacrifice and what it means to be an Australian."

Australian War Memorial information at <a href="http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/" target="_blank">www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/</a> states that "The spirit of ANZAC, with its human qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity."

For more information, visit the Web site or call 255-3766.

Page last updated Thu April 22nd, 2010 at 10:32