Members of the Multinational Force and Observers gathered at the Forces Commander’s Patio on Wednesday, April 25 2017.
The ANZAC Day commemoration is an annual event organized by the Australian and New Zealand contingents. However this year’s commemoration was quite unique since the present Force Commander who assumed Command of the MFO is the second Australian to take the command appointment.
In delivering the formal address the MFO FC, Maj. Gen. Stuart, stated that while the basis of the ANZAC DAY was embedded at Gallipoli, the commemoration has expanded to other nations. “While the origins of ANZAC Day are firmly rooted in the soil at Gallipoli, our commemoration has expanded as our nations have grown and we have found our respective places in the world. In short, it has enduring relevance in our lives,” he said.
Maj. Gen Stuart added that as members of the MFO gathered for the commemoration ceremony as servants of peace between Egypt and Israel, they join several thousand young and not so young women and men who were serving New Zealand and Australia in the far reaches of the world. “We are reflecting on the human spirit, the emergence of the very best of which we are capable among the most desperate, challenging and frightening circumstances,” said Stuart.
The First ANZAC Day commemoration was held across Australia, London and in the Australian Camp in Egypt on Tuesday, April 25, 1916. The occasion was organized to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by Australian and New Zealand soldiers who were deployed from their homeland as part of the allied mission to capture Gallipoli in Turkey.
The local program comprised of the ANZAC Day parade and the catafalque guards. Representatives of all contingents in the MFO were present at the FC’s Patio to observe the ceremony and reflect on the sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand soldiers. The Fijian contingent choir sang the hymn ‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide’ before the wreath laying.
The ceremony concluded with the serving of the ANZAC Day refreshment ‘The Gun Fire Coffee’.