The 97th anniversary of Anzac Day is being marked around the world on 25 April to pay tribute to Australia and New Zealand soldiers who laid their lives in Gallipoli, Turkey during the First World War.
Various ceremonies and events are held in nations that were part of the allied forces during the first world war including Australia, New Zealand nation, United Kingdom and France to acknowledge the service of the veterans.
The Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) tradition is an important national occasion for both the nations as it marks the first major military action fought by them during the First World War.
In 1915, Australia and New Zealand soldiers set out on an expedition to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. They landed on Gallipoli on 25 April but were defended by Turkish soldiers. The stalemate continued for more than eight months and the allied forces were evacuated after both the sides suffered huge casualties. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers and over 2,000 New Zealand soldiers were killed, according to Australian War Memorial.
Although Gallipoli landing was a failed attempt, the day became a part of an important legacy in the history two nations. Since 1916, 25 April has been marked as the Anzac Day and wide range of ceremonies and events are held to remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined thousands of Australians to visit the Gallipoli battlefield in Turkey. She paid tribute to veterans during a dawn service speech at Gallipoli in Turkey, according to a report by the The Australian website.
"For the allies, this was a battle of nations fought by great powers and the might of their empires for a wider strategic goal," The Australian quoted Gillard as saying.
"For the Turks, this was a defense of the soil and sanctity of home, for which Ataturk ordered his men not only to attack but to die," she added.
"And the men who fought here from our nation, our allies and from Turkey did die terrible deaths that spared no age or rank or display of courage," Gillard said.
Thousands of people attended the Anzac Day dawn service in Sydney and other ceremonies across the nation. Around 20,000 serving and ex-service personnel took part in the march to honour the veterans.
In New Zealand, Tens of thousands including Prime Minister John Key attended Anzac ceremonies. In Auckland, several people attended the dawn service despite a bomb threat, reported the New Zealand Herald.
New Zealand-led dawn service will be held at Hyde Park Corner, followed by a wreath-laying event at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. There will also be a noon service at Westminster Abbey. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the services, according to the report.