Australian , New Zealand dignitaries observe ANZAC Day

Service, observed every year drew participation from various foreign envoys based in Chennai
Chennai: At dawn on April 25, 1915, a combined force of inexperienced, Australian and New Zealand soldiers (ANZAC) had baptism by fire in the bloody beach assault on the shores of Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey, during World War I. By the time the allied forces’ standoff with the Ottoman empire ended eight months later, the two countries, which were taking part in their first major military operation, suffered losses of human lives of up to 12,000.
Exactly 100 years later, on Saturday, the Australian consulate general here commemorated ANZAC Day at Madras War Cemetery in Nandambakkam. The service, observed every year at the cemetery, drew participation from various foreign envoys based in Chennai and representatives from the Indian Armed forces. Speaking to DC, Mr Sean Kelly, consul general of Australia, Chennai, said ANZAC Day is not a celebration of war, but an occasion to honour the sacrifice made by soldiers while fighting for their country in various battles.
“In Chennai, we particularly remember the 14 Australians and six New Zealanders who lost their lives in the Second World War and are resting at the War Cemetery here,” he said.
Retired cricketer and a New Zealander, Scott Styris, who was also present, told DC that he was privileged to attend the service in Chennai. “ANZAC Day is a very significant day for our people. It is an occasion for us to pay our respect to the departed heroes,” said the ex-CSK player.
For Ryan James Piccard of Sydney, who claimed to be the only Australian living in Kozhikode, the service was compelling in that he chose to come down to Chennai for the very first time. “As a child growing up, I was told about wartime tales and the sacrifices of our soldiers. But, it all seemed distant enough until today, when we reflected on whether the sacrifice made by our ancestors was worth the way we lead our present lives,” he said.
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