Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My Anzac Day.

Today, we did not go to the dawn service, and for the first time in years, I didn't watch the march. We took advantage of the beautiful day to start digging up the jacaranda stump that keeps sprouting in the backyard.

I wielded an axe for the first time in my life, and didn't remove any of my limbs, or Magilla's.

We watched the news, and as ever, the coverage of the services and the march brought me to tears. The only explanation I had for Magilla was that "Today is Anzac Day, and it makes me cry."

I could not explain the Great War or those following to an almost four-year-old. I could not explain the wars going on today around the world.

When she's a bit older, I'll take her to a dawn service. I'll take her to watch her Pop march with his Vietnam Vet mates and we'll have lunch with them and enjoy the day.

And I'll cry again, as I always do.

God Bless our fallen men and women, and those who are serving now. Please keep them safe.

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

7 Comments:

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous SezaGeoff said...

I was always slightly emotional, but since I toured the battlefields of Europe (Ypres, the Somme, Verdun, I have been hopeless at these events. The sacrifices of lives ( I will not say waste, as often it was justified) overwhelms me. The sight of the cemetery at Douamont, with its 15000 crosses is sobering, and then you realise that the Ossuary contains the bones of over 130,000 unknown soldiers.
http://www.webmatters.net/france/ww1_verdun_ossuaire.htm

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger oigal said...

Its is a very special day, I attended a very special dawn service in Indonesia today..

 
At 3:44 AM, Blogger dag said...

My great-grandfather on my father's mother's side lost a foot at Gallipoli. I hope to get myself there in the fall. If My great-grampa and his mates hadn't fought there I might not have that oportunity. I might live today in a slum West under fire from savages.

Now it's my turn to do my part to ensure that our great grandchildren have a chance to do their parts in their time.

Maybe some day there will be a day when there ain't no war no more, but till then I'm going on fighting for the good regardless.

I'm told I'm too old to be in the trenches with the young guys these days. I can't belive it, but there it is. I wish them the best and I envy them. And just because I'm not 20 anymore doesn't mean I won't do my part for them as they do theirs. I just can't seem to do what good they do. I'll do something else.

We can all do something good.

 
At 7:30 AM, Blogger Nilk said...

SezaGeoff, you are so privileged. The older I get the more I hunger to set foot on those hallowed grounds.

I doubt I will ever get there, as Eurabia is expanding and all that is sacred to us will be lost.

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger Nilk said...

The only 'immediate' relative that I know of who fought in WWI was a great-uncle. I don't think I have any who fought at Gallipoli.

My maternal grandfather fought in Malaya, and was up in Darwin in the 40s. My dad went to Vietnam.

Dag, I know exactly what you mean regarding contributions. Just remember: what you can provide may not be as visible as the service of the lads in the trenches, but that does not make it any less valuable.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cannot explain WW1 to a 4 year old child....

I don’t think anyone can explain such madness.

Politicians start wars, Soldiers end them. For every soldier that dies in combat, we should execute a politician.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Jai Normosone said...

Anonymous: Never a truer word was spoken! That is a solution I would gladly vote for - provided that I be the one to choose the order in which they go.... >:)

Nilk: Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU! You're probably aware that I can be pedantic about words and it makes me feel very good that I know someone such as yourself who knows the difference between 'condemn' and 'contemn' and hasn't gone and changed the word because you thought it was a misprint.

 

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