Cornerstone Ceremony for ANZAC Museum in Beersheba.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The conquest of Beersheba by the Mounted Division of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and the British Armed Forces was one of the major victories in the conquest of the land of Israel from the Ottoman Army. The ANZAC Museum, which is now being built in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Beersheba with a contribution from JNF Australia, will commemorate the history of ANZAC through the personal stories of the combatants.
The cornerstone ceremony for the museum was attended by the Mayor of Beersheba, the Ambassador to Israel from Australia and senior executives from KKL-JNF and JNF Australia. The inauguration of the museum is expected to take place on October 31, 2017, the exact date of the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC Mounted Division’s historic charge and conquest of the city.
“The history of the ANZAC Mounted Division is the history of us all,” said Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich. “Buried in this cemetery are heroes who saved the entire world. We are committed to our past and are realizing the vision with support from our wonderful partners.”
JNF Australia President Mr. Peter Smaller said that the conquest of Beersheba was the turning point that led to the end of World War I. “We are excited to be here today to lay the cornerstone of the museum,” he said.
In his greetings, HE Dave Sharma, the Ambassador to Israel from Australia, stressed the strong connection between the two countries: “The museum being built will help teach the younger generation about the Australians and the Israelis, about the connection between our two nations for more than a hundred years. Australia has stood by Israel in its struggle for the right to exist as the State of the Jewish people.”
As he stood gazing at the ANZAC graves, KKL-JNF Vice Chairman Mr. Mike Nitzan said: “These heroes teach us about commitment and courage, about the bonds between nations and civilizations of East and West, which is precisely what KKL-JNF has been a part of for more than 115 years.”
“The ANZAC Museum in Beersheba will honor the ANZAC fighters and their great sacrifice,” said JNF Australia CEO Mr. Dan Springer. “Future generations will learn here about the role they played in enabling the establishment of the Jewish State. This site will also affirm the close ties between Australia and Israel.”
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