Australia, NZ, U.S. troops to mark ANZAC Day at Wright-Patt

U.S. Air Force Col. Trisha Sexton salutes after laying a red poppy next to three wreaths to commemorate ANZAC Day on April 25, 2017 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, about 100 people, some wearing the uniforms of foreign militaries, marked ANZAC Day. The day commemorates the first major battle Australian and New Zealand troops fought in World War I. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

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U.S. Air Force Col. Trisha Sexton salutes after laying a red poppy next to three wreaths to commemorate ANZAC Day on April 25, 2017 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, about 100 people, some wearing the uniforms of foreign militaries, marked ANZAC Day. The day commemorates the first major battle Australian and New Zealand troops fought in World War I. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

Australian, New Zealand and U.S. Air Force troops will mark ANZAC Day in a ceremony Wednesday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

ANZAC Day commemorates the first major battle Australian and New Zealand troops fought as allies in World War I.

The ceremony is set from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Air Force museum’s Memorial Park.

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But it’s symbolism goes beyond the battle in what is now northern Turkey, Royal Australian Air Force Commander Andrew State, who is assigned to the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate at Wright-Patterson, said Tuesday.

Australian and New Zealanders mark ANZAC — Australian-New Zealand Army Corps — Day in services around the world, described as a combination of Memorial Day and Veterans Day in the United States.

“It’s celebrated each year,” he said. “It’s gone way beyond just the battle in World War I and it’s come to mean where we remember all military people (from Australia and New Zealand) who have fallen in operational services and also those who currently serve. … It’s come to mean spirit, inspiration, self-reliance and sacrifice.”

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ANZAC represents thousands of troops from both nations who fought Ottoman Turk forces beginning April 25, 1915, on the Gallipoli peninsula in what was the Ottoman Empire to open the Dardanelles straits to allied navies. Australia lost 8,000 troops in the months-long battle that ended in a stalemate.

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