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ANZAC Day

Thu, 04/25/2019 11:00 am

Free

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 Thursday, April 25, with an 11am ceremony in the World War I Veterans Memorial Park, on the Corner of River St. and Church St. The ceremony will be followed by a fundrasing luncheon from 12pm to 1:30pm at the Hotel Saranac, sponsored in part by St. Joseph's Addiction and Recovery Centers, Homeward Bound Adirondacks, and the Village. All net proceeds from the luncheon will go towards PTS services for veterans.

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)” as part of the Allies in WW I, began an eight-month-campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula to take down the Ottoman Army and allow access to the Black Sea. It is estimated that 8,709 soldiers from Australia and 2,721 soldiers from New Zealand lost their lives before the Allied troops had to be evacuated from the peninsula.

Saranac Lake recognizes this day to commemorate the sacrifices of both American and Australian veterans throughout our history of wars. The two countries have been allies for over a century. This day also brings attention to the needs of veterans dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), which affects many of these men and women including Australian Army Captain Paul McKay, diagnosed with PTS, and found dead atop nearby Scarface Mountain in early 2014. Captain 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. After search and rescue efforts, 15 days later his body was found upon a rocky outcrop. The captain’s death was later ruled a suicide and there is no known reason why Captain McKay came to Saranac Lake.

The general public is invited to attend and participate in this annual ceremony. Please see the village website, saranaclakeny.gov, for more information and to register for the fundraising luncheon.

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