Following a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19 restrictions, Anzac Day was commemorated in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on April 25 with a service at the Emirates Palace Hotel on the banks of the Arabian Gulf.
CAPTION: Australian Defence Force and New Zealand Defence Force personnel stand by the cenotaph after the Anzac Day commemorations in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Story and photo by Captain Edward Pym.
The service, attended by more than 100 people, allowed Australian and New Zealand people in the Gulf nation to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of the current and former servicemen and women of their countries, and the allies who have served alongside them.
New Zealand Defence Attaché to the Middle East region Brigadier Roger Margetts addressed the gathering, which included the Australian, New Zealand and Turkish ambassadors in the United Arab Emirates.
Brigadier Margetts told the gathering there had been a renewed interest in Anzac Day among younger generations.
“These commemorations have cast a spotlight on events that have changed our two nations forever, sparking a renewed interest in our family history. Our children now carry the medals of their ancestors, keeping their memories and sacrifice alive,” Brigadier Margetts said.
The commemoration also provided an opportunity to reflect on the ongoing commitment and sacrifice of Australian Defence Force personnel currently deployed to the Middle East region.
The catafalque party members and flag-bearers for the ceremony are currently on deployment.
Catafalque party member Corporal Gabriel Tenorio, from Headquarters Middle East, reflected on what Anzac Day meant to him.
“This being my first deployment, it’s a great opportunity to be serving alongside our New Zealand colleagues and to honour the sacrifice current and past serving members have made’’ Corporal Tenorio said.