Americans, Australians and New Zealanders may be separated by the world’s largest ocean, but it doesn’t stop them from partnering on peace and security around the globe.
In the latest sign of friendship between these Pacific Rim allies, the United States recognized the courage of Australian and New Zealand troops at the opening of an enhanced exhibit in the Australia, New Zealand and United States Corridor at the Pentagon on April 22.
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work hosted the exhibit’s ribbon-cutting ceremony with senior Australian and New Zealand officials to mark the 100th anniversary of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Day, also known as ANZAC Day, celebrated April 25.
“It is a sacred day … throughout Australia and New Zealand that honors the bravery, service and sacrifices made by the Australians and New Zealanders,” Work said at the ceremony.
ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major Australian and New Zealand casualties in World War I.
The United States, Australia and New Zealand have partnered for decades to advance peace and security around the world. In Afghanistan all three militaries served side by side, and in Africa they worked to battle Ebola, Work said.
Today, this partnership endures in the effort to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh.
“And now in Iraq, the Australian and New Zealand [troops] have become invaluable partners in the international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — proving that yet again, although we are separated by a broad ocean — we are very close and not bound by any particular geography or conflict or adversary,” Work said.
The ANZAC spirit “ lives on in a shared commitment to individual rights and the rule of law, open and fair economic systems, and democratic freedoms,” Secretary of State John Kerry said April 23. “The United States is proud of our enduring cooperation with Australia and New Zealand in pursuit of these common ideals.”