Story & Photos by Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 25 APRIL 2019: The thousands of soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli Cove in 1915 will always be remembered through the ANZAC Day celebration.
“Today we stand together to remember and thank those who lost their lives or suffered injuries as they fought courageously for their country and families, their sacrifice and bravery, and we honour them with utmost respect,” said Australia’s High Commissioner, Her Excellency Sara Moriaty.
Speaking at the dawn service commemorating ANZAC Day this morning, she said it is time to reflect on the past generation’s display of courage, discipline, self-reliance, self-sacrifice, resourcefulness and friendship even in the very worst of times.
“The future generations need to be reminded that happiness has a price, for happiness is the product of freedom and freedom is the reward of courage,” said Moriarty.
But in order to defend such ideals and beliefs, we must never ignore the dangers of war.
“To do so will diminish the gift of these men and tarnish their memory. Instead we should feel gratitude and protect those freedoms and through this remembrance, their memory will live on – Lest We Forget,”
This mornings’ ANZAC Day dawn parade took place at its normal venue in-front of the Town Clock War Memorial downtown, Apia.
The parade was led by returned servicemen who served in different wars, defence forces or peace keeping missions. Following the national anthems of Australia, New Zealand and Samoa, Reverend Efu Efu led a prayer service followed Her Excellency’s address and the laying of wreaths.
Moriaty said that one of the greatest significant aspects of today, is that amongst those who landed at Gallipoli, were men from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Cook Islands and the thousands of soldiers that went to shore met a strong resistance and many lives were lost within a few hours.
“For over a century, we have commemorated ANZAC Day to honour not only those who serve at Gallipoli but all the wars that followed.
“We remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we and the people of other nations can live in peace,” said Moriaty.
Currently Australia, New Zealand and Samoa continues to be active citizens and demonstrate a commitment and contribution to peace in other parts of the world
Last week, Samoa’s latest appointment of peace keepers left for Sudan for one year tour of duty.
“These brave Samoans will serve alongside Australian and New Zealand peacekeepers just like their forbearers did in the First and Second World Wars.
“We pause today to commemorate current and former members of our defence forces and Samoa Police Service, Lest We Forget.”
ANZAC Day is no longer a public holiday in Samoa.