The Gosford City Council is honoring the Australian and New Zealand soldiers for their valor in World War I. The Poppy Project is a field of handmade poppies that blanket the ground of Gosford’s Rotary Park. The Gosford Poppy Project coincides with ANZAC Day that honors the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who fought in any war to defend and protect their homeland. The installation will remain in place from April 17 through April 27.

It’s impossible to commemorate ANZAC Day on the Central Coast without remembering the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers at Gallipoli in World War I. ANZAC troops first landed on the peninsula of Gallipoli in Turkey on April 25th 1915. After eight months of often brutal trench warfare, the troops withdrew without achieving their objective of capturing Constantinople, and disrupting the German/Ottoman alliance. Even though the troops were fought to a stalemate, the fighting raised the national consciousness to a new level of world citizenry. This is how and why ANZAC Day on the Central Coast was established, and continues to be observed a hundred years after the fighting took place in World War I. Australia and New Zealand have continued to contribute to many war efforts from World War II up to the present-day conflicts in the Middle-East.

The red Remembrance Poppy originated from the red poppies that bloomed on the fields around Flanders, Belgium where some of the bloodiest trench and hand to hand conflicts of World War I were fought. The poppy symbolizes the blood spilled on those fields and all the battlegrounds of the war. Great Britain and the Commonwealth Nations all recognize this symbol of struggle and sacrifice.

Events like the Gosford Poppy Project were established to be a reminder of the sacrifice of the brave soldiers and their families, and the price paid by those who gave their lives in the defense of Australia and New Zealand. It’s perhaps a sad but necessary way for present and future generations to be reminded about the true cost of war that has nothing to do with the monetary side of things. If you happen to be in Gosford between April 17 and the 27th, take a moment to stop by Rotary Park and pay your respects to those who fought and died for the welfare of Australia and New Zealand.