April 25, 2006 3:00 PM

Australian War Memorial, Kings Park, Perth

Today is ANZAC Day, the day where Australia and New Zealand commemorate and honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who have served and/or fallen during times of war. In Australia, the day would start with dawn services around the country, usually held at various war memorials. They would then be followed by marches in the capital cities, involving past and present members of the Australian Defense Force. A large number of Australians would also make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli in Turkey to pay their respects to those who fought and died there during World War 1.

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 morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

War is most unpleasant. Lest we forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice by doing what they believed to be their most patriotic duty. Lest we forget that human kind are the most brutal animals on the planet.

Lest we forget those who survive the horrors of war only to disintegrate when they try to fit back into normal society – mentally and physically scarred. For how can we expect a human being to not be affected by killing and maiming their fellow man, when in normal society it is illegal to to hurt and murder?

Lest we forget that war is still happening today and soldiers are still dying on a daily basis, for much less noble causes than years past some might argue.

On this day if you live comfortably not in a warzone, spare a thought for those who are less fortunate than you are and for the countless men and women in the armed services fighting all across this planet.

Reserve your hate and vitriol for war itself, and not for the soldiers.

Added 8:14PM – Dominic Knight’s excellent write-up.

Added 26th April 8:57AM – On ANZAC Day eve, Triple J’s Hack program interviewed a Vietnam War vet and his daughter about how the war affected not only himself but also his family, and how they coped. A really fascinating and personal insight. (mp3 file, 11.8MB)

[tags]Australia, ANZAC Day, war[/tags]

17 thoughts on “ANZAC Day

  1. Snowflake

    Ditto (nice post).

    When I lived in Perth, I used to go to the King’s Park service on ANZAC Days … climbing out of bed around 4ish … freezing cold … walking in pitch darkness to get there … always felt sad when they did the Last Post ….

  2. mooiness Post author

    r1cka: Nope – Googled it. 🙂

    Yeah we should all feel lucky that we don’t have to go through war.

    Snowflake: The Last Post would always bring a lump to my throat. It’s a very haunting piece of melody.

  3. CW

    Have you ever been to a dawn service, Marcus? I must confess I have never gone. I think I have yet to recover from the trauma caused from being called a “Bloody Nip” by a guy selling poppies on Remembrance Day.. I didn’t end up buying a poppy that year, and still have residual trembles when I see men with RSL badges in their lapels… Guess I’m not sure I’d be welcome at the dawn service! 😐

  4. mooiness Post author

    CW: nope never been. I can sorta see why an old WW2 vet would be racist about it. However I met a few others who weren’t, and I did buy poppies from them.

    I can’t personally say whether or not an East Asian would be welcomed at the dawn services but I did see a couple of Asian faces in press photos. So I guess it is not that bad. 😉

  5. Simplysiti

    In response to CW’s and your comments about the possibility of not being welcomed at the dawn services, all I can say is that I went to a dawn service last year with my boyfriend and his mum and experienced nothing of that sort.

    I even managed to talk to a few war veterans without experiencing any hostility. In fact, they are pretty nice to talk to. I guess most of them understand that we are attending the dawn service with the same intentions as them – to honour the sacrifice of those who have fallen during the war(s).

    I think the hostility that CW experienced is a pretty much remote incident. So dont shy away from the dawn services in future. 🙂

  6. emiriyoshikawa

    I hate wars… and the soldiers as well…
    We all have a mind of our own, don’t blame it on the leaders.

    Ali the boxer went to jail, many others suffered worse fate for not fighting a war…

    For me to kill someone, I need a damn good reason.
    Not because my govt ordered or paid me to, but because I want and need to.

  7. mooiness Post author

    Leonard: yeah it is meaningful and it is a public holiday. 🙂

    emiriyo: Well personally I would blame the politicians more than I would the soldiers. Not everyone can afford to disobey orders and go to jail for it. Then you might ask why join the army in the first place? To some it’s more of an economic neccesity or the only job that they can get.


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