Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Anzac Day message

On Anzac Day, Australians at home and abroad pause to remember all who have served our country.

This is the 99th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.

Over coming years, Australians will commemorate the centenary of the Great War and remember the tide of events that shaped our nation, and that still cast a shadow over the wider world.

The First World War impacted on Australia like nothing else before or since.

It was the crucible that forged our nation.

From a population of just under 5 million, 417,000 enlisted, 332,000 served overseas, 152,000 were wounded and 61,000 never came home.

Of men aged 18 to 42, almost one in two served in uniform.

Of those who served overseas, almost one in five were killed in action.

Of the 270,000 who returned, more than half had been wounded – and others had mental scars that never healed.

We will never glorify war.  Still, the worst of times can bring out the best in us.

This day we remember all who have served our country – in our army, navy and air force – and through all conflicts: the Boer War, the First and Second World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere our armed forces are sent in our name.

The presence of Australians at Anzac Day events is a demonstration that we are a nation of memory, not just of memorials.

The character of our servicemen and women has helped to define our nation. Their courage, mateship and sacrifice have been exemplary.

Lest we forget.

smh.com.au

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