Gillard pays tribute to Anzacs
THE Anzac legend belongs to all Australians regardless of their origins, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said during a moving Anzac Day tribute on the shores of Gallipoli.
Ms Gillard on Wednesday joined thousands of her country men and women at Anzac Cove, where 97 years earlier troops from Australia and New Zealand had gone ashore in a hail of Turkish bullets.
"We remember what the Anzacs did in war and for what they did to shape our nation in peace," Ms Gillard said.
"In this place, they taught us to regard Australia and nowhere else as home," she said.
"This is the legend of Anzac, and it belongs to every Australian.
"Not just those who trace their origins to the early settlers but those like me who are migrants and who freely embrace the whole of the Australian story as their own."
Ms Gillard also spoke of the strong bond that survives to this day between Australia and Turkey.
It is a friendship forged on respect - both on the battlefields of Gallipoli and in the decades long after the final shots were fired.
"A worthy foe" had become "an even greater friend", Ms Gillard said.
"The Turkish honoured our fallen and embraced them as their own sons," she said.
"And later they did something rare in the pages of history - they named this place in honour of the vanquished as Anzac Cove.
"We therefore owe the Republic of Turkey a profound debt.
"No nation could have better guarded our shrines or more generously welcomed our pilgrims."
Ms Gillard, the first Australian prime minister to visit Gallipoli since 2005, said Australians would "always" return to the site.
"To give the best and only gift that can matter anymore - our remembrance," she said.
"All of us remember, because all of us inhabit the freedom the Anzacs won for us."