Chief of Navy Speeches: Anzac Day 2018, Tehran

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25 April 2018

Chief of Navy Address on Anzac Day 2018
Tehran, Iran

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning to you all,

Thank you for the honour of being able to share with you on this most special of days for all Australians and New Zealanders wherever they are in the world.

This is a particularly important year as it marks the 100th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities in World War One.

When Gallipoli is mentioned most Australians will immediately think of soldiers storming ashore at Anzac Cove, Simpson and his donkey evacuating the wounded, or the heavy fighting at the Battles of Lone Pine or the Nek.

Few, if any think of the Navy’s significant role in this campaign being the ‘first in’ with the Australian submarine HMAS AE1 penetrating Turkish defenses just after midnight on 25 April 1915 and the ‘last out’ with the men of the Royal Australian Navy Bridging Train departing the shores of Gallipoli after the last of the allied soldiers filed over the wharves into waiting lighters on 20 December 1915.

They served with distinction and along with their fellow ANZACs earned the reputation for being courageous, loyal, disciplined, resourceful, resilient, and dedicated.

It is these qualities that have become the hallmarks and inspiration for the Australian and New Zealand sailors, soldiers, airmen and women that have followed in their footsteps; whether during the remainder of World War One, in World War Two, in Korea, in Vietnam, in East Timor, here in Iran with the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group, in Iraq, or in Afghanistan.

Today, we come together here at this Commonwealth War Cemetery where five ANZACs who were serving as part of Operation DUNSTERFORCE are commemorated, not to celebrate or glorify war or our military traditions, but to remember those who have fought and sacrificed for their respective country.

We come together to remind ourselves of the terrible cost of securing our freedoms that we often take for granted today.

It is a day of great sadness and yet one of justifiable pride.

Pride in the men and women who have displayed great courage, discipline and self-sacrifice in choosing a life of service to their country, their family, and their friends.

Today, we thank them and remember that their sacrifice has not been in vain — they gave so much in the belief that the principles we as a nation hold dear were worth defending so that today, and into the future, we all can have a full and satisfying life.

Lest we forget.