Wed, 04/25/2018 11:00 am
The Village of Saranac Lake and a delegation from the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC, will commemorate ANZAC Day for Post Traumatic Stress Awareness on Wednesday, April 25, with an 11:00 a.m. ceremony in the World War I Veterans Memorial Park on the corner of River and Church Streets.
ANZAC Day, celebrated on April 25th of each year, is a day of remembrance for soldiers and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, as, on this date in 1915, thousands of soldiers in the “Australian New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)” suffered tremendous casualties in a large military operation in what is now Turkey.
This will be the fifth annual Anzac ceremony observed by Saranac Lake, which began this commemoration of the sacrifices of both American and Australian veterans, who have been allies for over a century—along with the recognition of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) which affects many of these men and women—following the death of 31 year-old Australian Army Captain Paul McKay, diagnosed with PTS, atop nearby Scarface Mountain in early 2014.
McKay traveled from his home in Adelaide, Australia, to Saranac Lake and, just before the 2014 New Year, ascended Scarface Mountain in temperatures reaching 20 degrees below zero with very little clothing or gear. 15 days later, his body was found upon a rocky outcrop near the mountain’s peak. The captain’s death was later ruled a suicide and there is no known reason why Captain McKay came to Saranac Lake.
A newly-formed production group will travel from Australia to Saranac Lake to film a documentary about the extraordinary empathy and awareness this American small town continues to give a deceased Australian soldier, Post Traumatic Stress and the alliance between America and Australian military. Three brothers comprise the film crew, Daniel, Nathan and Michael Bolton. Nathan Bolton, served as a Special Operations Combat Engineer during two tours in Afghanistan, clearing improvised explosive devices or “IED” roadside bombs, and was diagnosed with PTS and depression upon his return. Mr. Bolton struggled for many years with the symptoms, yet, eventually earned a university degree in Screen and Media, specializing in Film and Television Production.
The production team’s documentary synopsis states, “We will see the (Anzac) ceremony, talk to those who participate, and identify the specifics that make this more than just another working day in Saranac Lake. We will find the connection to the universal that brings this town together in union with another nation, a half a world away.”
The United States and Australia have been unwavering military allies since World War I serving side by side in wars and conflicts which include WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Again this year, Australians military attachés, will travel from Washington, DC, to be part of the ceremony. Australian Army Captain Tom Hinds will offer an ANZAC Day address and the traditional “Ode of Remembrance” at the ANZAC Day ceremony. Streets.
The general public is invited to attend and participate.