World

Across globe, ANZAC tributes for fallen soldiers

BRUSSELS (AP) — At 74, Harry Quick traveled to the other side of the world from his home in Tasmania to honor the soldiers from Australia and New Zealand that fell during World War I.

His tribute at the Menin Gate shrine in Flanders Fields was just one of many around the world on ANZAC Day, when the two countries unite in memory of all soldiers that died in warfare over the past century. From drenched Sydney, to Hong Kong and London, tens of thousands paid respect on Friday, a year ahead of the centenary of the emblematic campaign in Gallipoli in Turkey.

"This is one of my favorite places to remind me, not only of my father, but his mates who died here," Quick said at the Menin Gate in western Belgium's Ypres, which displays more than 54,000 names of soldiers whose graves are not known.

Hundreds of families gathered for similar ceremonies in Belgium, Britain and France, where many of their ancestors from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps fell during fierce battles along the Western front.

Kaylene Biggs from Brisbane had only come to see the white headstone of her great grandfather Andrew Bayne in Heuvelland for the first time on the eve of ANZAC Day. As with so many, it still touched a deep chord within her, highlighting the importance of the day for Australians and New Zealanders.

"We don't just think about the landing at Gallipoli, the 25th of April," she said. "We think about every war since then. And every person that had to fight has not actually done because they like fighting. It is because they want to keep peace."

Thousands of visitors traveled to Turkey for Friday's solemn ceremony on the Gallipoli peninsula where the ANZAC forces landed in 1915 for an unsuccessful and bloody eight-month campaign which ended in a stalemate and massive casualties.

Gallipoli had such an impact on Australians that it soon turned into the day to remember the sacrifice of those fallen. It has since come to honor all service members in the Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces.

Follow Raf Casert on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rcasert

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