Commemoration

Commemoration

In Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC Day commemoration features solemn "dawn services", a tradition started in Albany, Western Australia on 25 April 1923 and now held at war memorials around both countries, accompanied by thoughts of those lost at war to the ceremonial sounds of the Last Post on the bugle. The fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen (known as the Ode of Remembrance) is often recited.

Australia

Marches by veterans from all past wars and current serving members of the Australian Defense Force are held in capital cities and towns nationwide. The ANZAC Day parade from each state capital is televised live with commentary. These events are followed generally by social gatherings of veterans, hosted either in a pub or in an RSL Club, often including a traditional Australian gambling game called "two-up", which was an extremely popular pastime with ANZAC soldiers. The importance of this tradition is demonstrated by the fact that though most Australian states have laws forbidding gambling outside of designated licensed venues, on Anzac Day it is legal to play "two-up".
Although Australia's official national day is in fact "Australia Day", many Australians have now come to regard ANZAC Day as the true national day of the country. Despite federation being proclaimed in Australia in 1901, many argue the "national identity" of Australia was largely forged during the violent conflict of World War 1 [1], and the most iconic event in the war for most Australians was the landing at Gallipoli. In recent years ANZAC Day has grown in popularity in Australia and even the threat of a terrorist attack at the Gallipoli site in 2004 could not deter some 15,000 Australians from making the pilgrimage to Turkey to commemorate the fallen ANZAC.
The Vietnam War in the 1970s, with conscription and other unpleasant nesses, saw some of the population reluctant to participate in war-related events such as ANZAC Day due to the controversy of Australia's contribution to the Vietnam War. That attitude has since largely faded, with the day treated as a commemoration of the fallen rather than a celebration of wars.
In recent years however, some people have felt that the ANZAC Day tradition has been turned into a festive celebration of heroism and patriotism, which is seen as incompatible with the solemnity of remembering those who were killed in wars.

New Zealand

New Zealand's Commemoration of ANZAC Day [2] is similar, though on several occasions the day has become an opportunity for some groups for political protest. In 1967, two members of the left-wing Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch staged a minor protest at the Anzac ceremony, laying a wreath protesting against the Vietnam War. They were subsequently convicted of disorderly conduct, but that was not the last time that the parade was used as a vehicle for protest. In 1978 a women's group laid a wreath dedicated to all the women killed and raped during war, and movements for feminism, gay rights, and peace used the occasion to draw attention to their respective causes at various times during the 1980s.
The number of New Zealanders attending ANZAC Day events in New Zealand, and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For some younger people, the sombre focus of the day receives less emphasis than do the more celebratory aspects of a national holiday. For most, though, the day is an occasion on which to formally pay tribute and to remember.
ANZAC Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war, and a real respect for those who have endured warfare on behalf of the country they live in.

Gallipoli

In 1990, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, government officials from Australia and New Zealand, most of the last surviving Gallipoli veterans, and many Australian and New Zealand tourists travelled to Turkey for a special dawn service at Gallipoli. The service at dawn in Gallipoli has since become popular to attend on ANZAC Day. Upwards of 10,000 people have attended services in Gallipoli [citation needed].
Until 1999 the Gallipoli dawn service was held at the Ari Burnu war cemetery at Anzac Cove, but the growing numbers of people attending resulted in the construction of a more spacious site on North Beach, known as the "Anzac Commemorative Site".

Other overseas ceremonies

There is a dawn service held at the recently constructed Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.