The Australia Philippines Services League (APSL) marched alongside Allied Forces at the 25 April Anzac Day parade in Sydney, paying respect to the courage, endurance and mateship of the original Anzacs as well as those who have served in all areas of conflict.
The APSL has been part of the Anzac Day commemorative activities since 2005, with sponsorship, support and encouragement from Rooty Hill RSL.
Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corp, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs.
Anzac Day honours Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
Since the Second World War the meaning of Anzac Day had been broadened to include those killed in all military operations in which Australia and New Zealand have been involved.
“Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar…. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war,” according to Wikipedia.
In keeping with tradition, APSL joined the pre-Anzac Day March on April 21 at Rooty Hill RSL.
On Anzac Day, APSL members braved the morning chill and participated in the solemn dawn service at Pinegrove Memorial Park, Minchinbury before proceeding to join the parade in Sydney’s CBD.
The date April 25 was officially named Anzac Day in 1916, with a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia and in New Zealand, including a commemorative march through London involving Australian and New Zealand troops marking the day.
The first official Anzac Day dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927 to remember those who died in Gallipoli. By the mid-1930s, the rituals associated with the day, such as dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions and two-up games, became part of Australian Anzac Day culture.
It is important that Filipino troops are represented in activities such as the Anzac Day parade as it recognises the valour, sacrifice and heroic deeds of men and women in uniform, as well as thank their families for their sacrifices.
APSL comprises veterans, former and active service personnel of military forces, and their descendants.