The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement to honour the servicemen and women of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War.
“On Anzac Day, April 25 each year, we stand with our close allies Australia and New Zealand to honour their countrymen and women who served out of a sense of duty to defend and preserve freedom and democracy.
“The Anzacs, as they became known, landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey on April 25, 1915. More than 35,000 were killed or wounded during the campaign — a tremendous sacrifice in the early years for these two nations — while the Turkish defenders suffered more than 250,000 casualties.
“The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (then the Newfoundland Regiment) was the only North American regiment involved in the campaign. More than 1,000 Newfoundlanders served, with 115 wounded or dead.
“Canada, Australia, and New Zealand can look back on more than a century of partnership defined by our shared history and culture, and our parliamentary, legal, social, and military traditions. Australia and New Zealand remain two of Canada’s closest international defence partners, sharing a common outlook on international security challenges, a similar approach to operations, and an extensive cooperation agenda.
“We fought side by side in Afghanistan, and now are part of the international coalition against Daesh in Iraq. Together, we also contribute to the Multinational Force Observers mission responsible for supervising the implementation of the security provisions of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace.
“In the Asia-Pacific region, our history of cooperation includes Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise; the Royal Australian Navy’s Exercise KAKADU; Operation RENDER SAFE in the Solomon Islands, where our joint forces have cleared the explosive remnants of the Second World War; and the POSEIDON CUTLASS deployment on which Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships have strengthened relationships with the Royal Australian and New Zealand Navies, while promoting peace and security in the region.
“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we remember and honour the bravery of our military predecessors who fought to defend Canadian values at home and abroad. And on this day, we stand with our allies to honour those who served, and to acknowledge their invaluable role in the founding of their nations, and their contributions to peace and security around the world.
“Lest we forget.”