Gallipoli is a word that you can say to any Aussie or Kiwi and instantly leave them with both a mixture of sadness and pride. It is a place that most would want to visit. To see for themselves the place that claimed so many brave soldiers. To pay their respects and wander silently among the graves.
I knew while I was in Turkey, the Gallipoli peninsula would be a place that I had to visit. It was a place that I had heard of since I was in Primary School. A place that sounded so scary and harrowing to a child, learning about the ANZAC's and all they did for our country.
To actually be there was surreal. To try and imagine what the conditions would have been like was hard. To even begin to imagine the thoughts of the boys and men who served was impossible and heart breaking. There were boys who landed at Gallipoli who were just 15 & 16 years old.
What I wasn't expecting was how beautiful it is. On a clear summers day, it's hard to even imagine that a war took place here.
'There is hell waiting here'
Lone Pine - the Australian memorial.
What is left of the trenches.
In 1934, the president of Turkey - Ataturk, wrote a tribute to the ANZACs killed at Gallipoli (pic below):
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours ... You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
Lest we forget.