NPS, NSAM Join Australian Students in Honoring ANZAC Day 2018
By Javier Chagoya
Officers from the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Army are joined by Naval Support Activity Monterey Commanding Officer Capt. Rich Wiley in the display of the Australian National Flag, which was flown from NPS’ flagpole on ANZAC Day 2018, April 25. Pictured from left to right, are Royal Australian Navy Lt. Tim Forge and Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Dodds, along with NSAM Commanding Officer Wiley and Australian Army Maj. Jan Lim.
“ANZAC” was the name given to a combined force of the First Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Army Corps who landed on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula at around dawn on Sunday, April 25, 1915, barely nine months after the outbreak of World War I.
The historic campaign dragged on months ... At the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula with both sides having suffered heavy casualties. According the Australian War Memorial, more than 8,000 Australian soldiers died in the campaign. In spite of their losses, the heroic fight by Australian, and New Zealand forces, became part of the national identity for both nations. April 25 soon became a day to commemorate this historic battle, and is now one the nation’s most revered days of remembrance, honoring the sacrifice of all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars and conflicts.
“ANZAC Day for me is a day to honor the service and sacrifice of veterans and current service members of the Australian Defence Force. Lest we forget,” said Lim, a student in NPS’ operations research program.
The trio of Australian officers studying at NPS spoke to a small audience in the early hours of April 25, recounting moments of the historic battle, and offered up prayers to the fallen heroes from all wars. Dodds provided the invocation and Forge read a poem of remembrance, “In Flanders Fields.”
Each of the Australian officers reminded the gathering of the spirit of the ANZAC. “It’s the courage, endurance, mateship, and sacrifice which infuses our sense of who we are, how we relate to one another, and how we see our place in the world,” said Dodds.
NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ronald A. Route joined NSAM CO Wiley in laying wreaths at the foot of NPS’ flagpole, where the Australian flag was also hoisted to half-staff on the yardarm halyard. Route also reminded the gathering of a new exhibit in recognition of the Battle of Gallipoli now on display at the university’s Dudley Knox Library.