Monday, April 27, 2009

The ANZACS and Turkey

Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
A tribute to those ANZACs who died in Gallipoli (1934). Inscribed on the Atatürk Memorial in Turakena Bay, Gallipoli

After the Commonwealth soldiers had attacked and been driven out of Turkey in the First World War, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first President of the Republic of Turkey and remarkable Turkish leader said the above words.

The first time I went to Gallipoli, following in the footsteps of Dad's stepdad, those words almost made me cry. The Turks had every reason to hate and instead they welcome us back as the children and grandchildren of the enemy, with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintaining the graves while people like TJ work at preserving the memories of the victims of another pointless war in a way that is moving and very generous.

Thanks for reminding me, Ms Lizardrinking.

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