With Anzac Day upon us, I encourage Tasmanians to attend their local service and give thanks for the sacrifice of our servicemen and women.
This year’s Anzac Day will be the final in the Centenary of ANZAC 2014-2018, one of the most significant commemorative events in our nation’s history.
This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli campaign and the birth of the ANZAC legend – the creation of a nation that values mateship, bravery and sacrifice.
It also marks the centenary of the Armistice, which ended the World War One.
Many other important anniversaries will occur during 2018 including the 100th anniversary of first and second Battles of Villers-Bretonneux, Hamel and the breaking of the Hindenberg Line; the 75th anniversary of Hellfire Pass and the Thai Burma Railway, and the 50th anniversary of the Battles for Fire Support Base Coral and Balmoral in Vietnam.
Around 420,000 Australians enlisted in World War One, including 15,484 from Tasmania, of whom 2432 were killed.
A further 40,000 Australians were killed on active service in World War Two and in subsequent conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and the Middle East.
Tasmanians were among the first to land in Gallipoli in 1915, and have been active in Australia’s military operations in following conflicts.
Today more than 10,500 war veterans and ex-service personnel live in Tasmania.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is a strong supporter of Tasmania’s veterans and ex-serving community, and we provide funding to a number of projects to assist veterans and commemorate their sacrifice.
On this ANZAC Day I encourage the community to reflect upon the price of freedom, and give thanks to all those prepared to pay that price, on our behalf.
For more information on Anzac Day service locations and times visit www.rsltas.org.au.
Lest we forget.