We don’t glorify war: PM’s Anzac message

Australia, New Zealand and Turkey remain joined in a new battle against terrorism more than a century after the Gallipoli landings, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told the national Anzac Day service.


In his first Anzac Day address as the nation’s leader, Mr Turnbull paid tribute to past and present defence personnel, reflecting on the Anzac legacy and ongoing campaigns in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

He told a crowd of thousands at the Australian War Memorial that Australia, NZ and Turkey counted Gallipoli as a momentous chapter.

“Today we offer our solidarity to the Turkish people as we and our allies battle together a new war against terrorism,” Mr Turnbull said.

The new battle was being fought both abroad and at home and in every dimension including cyber space.

But Mr Turnbull said Anzac Day was not about glorifying war, but inspiring Australians to be better.

“This day does not commemorate a triumph of arms,” he said.

“It commemorates the triumph of the human spirit, the courage and resolve of those men and women who 100 years ago and ever since, and today put their lives on the line.”

Australia did not boast of victories, parade missiles or tanks in a display of might, nor hero worship military leaders – but respected them.

“We choose to stand as one in a moment of silent contemplation, in tribute to those who fought and died so that we could live in freedom.”

The prime minister also used the speech to touch on his own family’s service record, including wife Lucy’s pilot grandfather and his own grandfather Fred Turnbull who served on the Western Front.

“Almost every family served,” he said of the WWI years in Australia.