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PM In Turkey - ANZAC Dawn Service

Embargoed until 3.30pm (NZ time)
Tuesday 25 April 2000


Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

SPEECH AT


Dawn Service

Gallipoli
Turkey

5.30am local time

Tuesday 25 April 2000

Nga mate haere, haere, haere
Tatou te hunga ora tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

The dead, farewell, farewell, farewell
To us, the living, greetings, greetings, greetings to us all

It is very moving to stand again at dawn near Anzac Cove where, eighty-five years ago, young New Zealanders and Australians first scrambled ashore in what we know as the Gallipoli campaign.

From the outset the fighting was bitter and deadly. Our young men fought for their lives and to advance the allied war effort. The Turkish soldiers fought to defend their home land. Both sides were heroic.

I speak here today as New Zealand Prime Minister and as a representative of the thousands of New Zealand families whose sons were killed at Gallipoli, as my great uncle wa s. We come to honour them.

Over the years many thousands of New Zealanders and Australians have made a pilgrimage to this place which has had such an impact on our national psyche.

We come to see what it is really like, and what odds our people were up against. And we come to ask: how did it happen, why did it happen, and what did we learn from it?

From Gallipoli we trace two main developments.

One was affinity with Australia. The ANZAC relationship forged here has endured for more than eight decades.

At the beginning of this new century our two peoples retain enormous respect and affection for each other.

The other legacy of Gallipoli was the beginning of a new sense of national identity. Our soldiers left as British colonial troops. Those who returned came back as New Zealanders.

Gallipoli was the battle which broke our hearts. It was also the battle which caused us to re-examine who and what we were.

Ataturk’s words of comfort to the parents of those who died here helped our nations adjust to the trauma of Gallipoli. His generosity of spirit in accepting those who had fallen as sons of Turkey to be cared for here laid the foundation for bonds of friendship between our countries.

Our cemeteries here have been respected, as have been our ceremonies of remembrance over so many years.

In this spirit today we inaugurate the new Anzac memorial site within the Gallipoli Peace Park. This war-torn land stands permanently as a place of peace and of inspiration to future generations.

In memory of those who lost their lives here, I conclude with the simple words which will be spoken at every Anzac Day service in New Zealand today:

“Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them. We will remember them.”

ENDS

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