This  Anzac Day  we commemorate not the war but the sacrifices

RB - anzac Day

 

By Rekha Bhatta

This Year is the most important commemoration – Centenary Year of the Gallipoli campaign during World War 1.

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia’s most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. This year being the Centenary year many are attending the Dawn Service in Gallipoli, events around the cities and at the War Memorial in Canberra and remember the events that shaped and impacted on Australia. It is considered to be the crucible that forged the nation. It does not glorify World War 1 but remembered all who served the country, in army, navy and air force. By attending it is demonstrating a nation ‘of memory not just memorials. The character of servicemen and women that helped defines a nation – Lest we forget.

There are numerous books on the ANZAC. Two excellent biographies are – Ross Coulharts “Charles Bean” and Peter Rees’s “Bearing Witness”.

Weary Dunlop, arguably the nation’s most affectionately regarded war hero, understood to live together in tolerance and in harmony. It is why he worked during his lifetime to build bridges with the Japanese. His experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war prompted this effort and he has been rightly honored for his vision and compassion understanding. This, too, should not be forgotten on Anzac Day.

In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day’s activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem designed to help the listener understand the experiences of service people and their relatives in wartime.

In Flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872–1918)

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