Today in Australia and New Zealand, we commemorate ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. In 1915, the combined forces of Australian and New Zealand light horsemen landed before dawn at Gallipoli. The Turkish Army were well prepared and many of the troops were killed in the boats and the water before even making it to the shore. The Gallipoli campaign lasted only 8 months with troops withdrawing under the cover of darkness after suffering huge losses. One of those losses was the Garden Gnome’s great-uncle George Rose who sadly was killed two days before the troops withdrew.
If you wish to learn more about ANZAC Day you can find some information here or here.
Today not only commemorates the sacrifices made by those during times of war and conflict, it represents the coming together of two independent nations to work as one. They say that on 25th April 1915, the ANZAC legend was born.
I believe that ANZAC Day is the one day every year that the people of both of these countries unite together as one to remember. They remember those who have lost their lives fighting in wars and conflicts. They remember the price that was paid for the freedom to live as we do now. On this day, every individual joins together to become a part of a whole.
I do not condone war or conflict. That is my personal opinion. However I respect those men and women that fight in these wars. I grew up with respect for ANZAC Day instilled within me. I come from a family with many service men in my family tree. I have marched in countless parades over the years either as a Brownie, Guide or Army Cadet. I now watch my children and grandchildren as they march with their schools. This year the First Born is marching as a teacher with students of her school and the Tween is marching once again with her school. The Tween will wear her great-grandfather’s dog tags or her uncle’s hat as she always does.
My grandmother used to say that on this day she felt the closest to my grandfather than any other day of the year. Eight years ago on the 22nd April, I lost my grandmother. At the ANZAC service following her death I felt her put her hand in mine and squeeze as I sang “Abide with Me” with others in my community.
Today, there are many remembering the loss of mates and comrades. Other bloggers such as Laurie who has written a post Shadow Men and Aussie Ian who have fought and remember. I salute you all and thank you for your service.
And I unite with other Australians (and Kiwis) who also thank you.
My baby brother, Peter who prior to his diagnosis with Leukaemia was a member of the Australian Armed Forces.
Trooper George Rose who was killed at Gallipoli in 1915.
My grandfather. The photo was taken when he was home on leave in 1944.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morningWe will remember them
LEST WE FORGET