14 October 2011

A memorial most memorable for soldiers doomed to die

I was just reading an article about the Allies' ill-fated Gallipoli campaign against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. In it, they mention the inscription on the memorial in Anzac Bay. The words were written by Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish commander who defeated the Allied forces, and went on to found the modern republic of Turkey on the ruins of the Empire. The inscription reads as follows:

TO 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.

Wow.