ANZAC 2015 One Hundred Years

AZ15 1Today marks the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC’s time in Gallipoli. Up to 20,000 NZers rose early for the 6am service of remembrance. Regardless of ones thoughts on war, the service reminds us of those who fought for their country and lost their lives, or were injured in doing so. Such remembrance can apply to every country in the world – death does not take sides.

Back when the ANZAC’s landed in Gallipoli, New Zealand was a young country. With a population of about 1 million total, 100,000 set off to aid the war. 10% of the country! (an even greater percentage of the Male share!). Back then, there was an almost guaranteed chance you were related to, or at the least knew someone heading to war.

18,000 New Zealanders died in WW1, 41,000 more were wounded. The Gallipoli battle saw 44,000 allied soldiers fall, 2779 being Kiwis. The Ottoman defenders lost a massive 87,000.

AZ15 2Something nice to come out of the 100 year anniversary was a giant poppy made onto the local sports field. Each round disc represented a fallen soldier and had a customised message on it .

AZ15 4 AZ15 5 AZ15 6For those into Minecraft, the War Memorial Museum displayed the Minecraft Gallipoli one can visit. Its a different way to raise some awareness!

Galop 1I attend the dawn service every year. It seems as the years move along, more and more people attend to [usually] show their respects. Likely todays was the peak audience which stretched out of sight (glad I awoke extra early to get there!)

AZ15 3 AZ15 7 AZ15 8 AZ15 9I’ll close with a link to Mark Knopfler’s guitar tribute rendition of ‘The Last Post’. A moving modern electric take on the bugle song or remembrance.

AZ15

 

Lest We Forget

 

 

 

The 99th ANZAC Year

99th Year

Today marks the 99th ANZAC day anniversary. Its a day where New Zealanders and Australians respect and remember those who have fallen in battle/war, giving up their lives, so we could live ours. The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

Ive attended the dawn service for ANZAC day in my home town for years now. I think as I age each year, the day feels like it means more to me. Unlike many other public holidays that celebrate something, this one is more emotional. No one celebrates those who fall in war. We remember them. Giving ones life is the ultimate sacrifice.

When the First World War hit, New Zealand had a population of just over one million. About 120,000 of our men enlisted and went to battle. Of that 120,000 almost half were casualties of war – be it wounded or killed. Many never returned, and remain in the various unmarked graves around the battle fields of the world. For such a small population, we took a big hit.

Attending the service this morning, I walked away reflective and with a sense of emotion remembering the fallen.

I also walked away a little angry and offended. Why? – technology. A number (a very small percentage – but noticeable enough) of people either took phone calls, or failed to silence ringing phones once the service begun. A number (same percentage comment again) of children/young adults were permitted by their parents to play their digital device (pick your favourite), and play it with sound even. Im not quite at the stage of being a grumpy old man (grumpy young man?), but seriously, I found it really disrespectful. The closest example I could give is someone using their phone or playing games when one attends a funeral service – thats never ok.

Said people aside, it was a great and well attended ceremony. Being essentially a 5am start, New Zealand (and other places) holds a number of ceremonies at different times, and in all main cities, towns and suburbs. Next year marks 100 years. Its going to be big. I just hope people bring along their respect.

Back to more Thailand tomorrow!

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

Lest we forget

 

In Gallipoli, 25th April 1915 2,721 Kiwi and 8,709 Australian soldiers died in an attempt with allied forces to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula. Both sides suffered heavy losses, and the attempt failed. Such losses for relatively young countries however stirred the public, and began the long standing ANZAC relationship between our nations. On rolled WWII and the ANZAC spirit continued. The day marked losses by those in both wars, and subsequently in modern days, all those who have sacrificed sometimes the ultimate in service.

I rate ANZAC day as one of New Zealands most important, and might write more about this tomorrow. for now however, I’d like to leave you with the song ‘Poppies & Pohutukawa’

Poppies & Pohutukawa

Lest We Forget

We Will Remember Them    

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