HONOLULU, Hawaii -The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) Day Memorial Service was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific April 25, to honor the service and sacrifice of the ANZAC forces during World War I.
ANZAC Day commemorates the 1915 attack by Australian and New Zealand forces on Turkey during the Battle of Gallipoli. More than 10,000 ANZACS lost their lives during the eight-month fight.
Australian Army Maj. Gen. Rick Burr, serves as U.S. Army Pacific deputy general of operations and is in the unique position of being a foreign officer commanding U.S. troops. Burr says the sacrifice of ANZAC forces were not in vain.
"It was during this grueling eight month campaign, sustained from the beach head of ANZAC Cove, that the true character and the true meaning of ANZAC was forged," Burr said. "Victory was not gained there but meaning was won. The ANZACS helped create a sense of identity for our new nations."
Burr also acknowledged the United States for their continued cooperation, friendship and leadership.
"Standing here at this hallowed ground at the United States National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a poignant reminder of our collective commitment to shared values that are worth defending," Burr said. "We humbly acknowledge the extraordinary sacrifice of the United States and for its leadership in the World."
Gen. Vincent Brooks, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Pacific, laid a wreath to commemorate and honor the memory of the fallen ANZAC forces.
"The Australians and New Zealanders have been beside us in so many conflicts so it's only fitting that we would be out here to commemorate with them today," Brooks said. "It's an honor to be able to carry on tradition and to recognize those who have gone before us and we have a solemn obligation to maintain that closeness that existed on those battlefields so many years ago."
The 2014 ANZAC Day commemoration marked the 99th anniversary of the battle at Gallipoli and has been honored in Honolulu by the U.S. and its Pacific allies for more than 40 years.