“Heroes who 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 Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
here in this country of ours...
You, the mothers,
who sent their sons from far away 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.”
-Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
With this reconciliatory tribute, the first Turkish President - he himself a victorious
Gallipoli veteran - honoured those brave ANZAC soldiers whose fate was to be ingloriously
killed on the narrow mountainous peninsula where they suffered intensely one hundred
years ago this year. Eyewitnesses say as many were victims of enteric dysentery as were
shot or bayoneted here by their “unholy heathen” foe. Amen.
-Jason Lofts (in honour of our grandfather, who somehow came home)