On Anzac Day

anzacgallipoli

It is Anzac Day today.

I’d like to give thanks for the courage of all the Australians and New Zealanders who have served their country.

I met a real Anzac once when I was at school. He gave a talk. A lot of my classmates were rude, talking about the futility of war like the pseudo intellectuals they were. They didn’t realise that having a moral opposition to war didn’t necessarily mean you had to have an accompanying opposition to those who had served in a war.

The Anzac spoke of brotherhood, loyalty, love of country. Terrible tales, sad tales, inspiring tales. He passed around his medals. I could feel how precious they were.

When I met the Anzac soldier it was the first time I ever understood what honour meant. I felt safe in his presence as if nothing bad could ever happen if he was there. Meeting him moved me so much that I went home and cried – overwhelmed that people like him could exist.

I will always be grateful to the Anzac soldier, not just for the fact that he served his country; my country, but for the appreciation he gave me of dignity, honour, and bravery.

Lest we forget.

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18 thoughts on “On Anzac Day

  1. Thanks for this interesting and informative post Sel. I know what you mean about being moved to tears, in the presence of a brave or very good person; been there, done that many many times. I am a firm believer that we must honor those who fight for our freedom, whether we agree with the concept of war or not.

    Happy Weekend Sel, Hugs, G

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  2. Like most sane people i am opposed to war but as you say you shouldn’t condemn the soldiers who fight for our honour and freedom (I think of Vietnam and cringe).

    I think service men and women from all over the world deserve our admiration and respect for their bravery and sacrifice.

    Lest we forget.

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  3. Btw I just had to make mention of the photo you used. It’s breathtaking in that it says so much. In the background there is a beautiful, calm beach with the dawn just breaking. A picture of serenity. In the foreground, and in stark contrast, we have a soldier no doubt playing the last post and all it represents. I found I couldn’t take my eyes off it for some reason.

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  4. I agree completely, Sel. My heart goes out to those who put their life on the line from a feeling of duty and honor. Regardless of one’s stance on war, these are human beings who deserve our respect.

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  5. A COUPLE of simple words from eight-year-old Gareth Mortleman in Brisbane summed up the sentiment of a nation remembering Anzac Day – thank you.

    Wearing his great-great uncle’s medals as he took part in the Brisbane parade with his dad, the proud youngster said he was marching for those who could not.

    “I just wanted to say thank you,” he said.

    New Generation’s Proud Anzac Day Message
    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25386272-3102,00.html

    Anzac Day Around The World, SMH.com
    http://www.smh.com.au/ftimages/2009/04/25/1240606633469.html

    Lest we forget.

    DavidM

    “Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives …You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country, therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnie’s and the Mehmet’s to us, where they lie side by side here in this country of ours …
    You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, Wipe away your tears; Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.”
    Ataturk (Turkish Commander & Turkish President post WWI)

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  6. GERALDINE:
    Couldn’t agree more. It’s so important to give thanks to those who serve their country. Hope you are having a good weekend.

    ROMANY:
    That photo is incredible, isn’t it? So full of serenity but also melancholy. I usually have a tear in my eye whenever I hear the Last Post. And soldiers the world over deserve our respect. One of the hardest jobs in the world.

    STEPH:
    Too right. So honourable. So brave. I admire them so much!

    DAVID:
    That is such a heartwarming story. It’s going to make me cry in a minute. Sometimes kids just sum everything up, don’t they? Thanks for that link and for the amazing quote. That’s it, I’m gone…..*sob*

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  7. I’m glad you had a first-hand account of what went on … my Grandfather was in the First World War, but would never talk about it, except to say the losses in his regiment were so great, he rose from 2nd Lieutenant to Major in just over a month.

    Since the old soldiers have almost faded away, it’s good to have places like the ‘In Flanders Fields’ museum, in Ieper (Ypres) … the Curator said he’d seen tough, streetwise kinds reduced to silence, or even to tears by what was inside.

    And, of course, there are re-enactors like the Great War Society, who do their best to tell it like it was.

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  8. TRAVELRAT:
    The losses. How did these young men cope? It must have been so traumatic for them. That’s what upsets me the most – thinking of that. I agree, the museums are an amazing resource. The War Memorial at Canberra is incredible.

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  9. i never knew about anzac day until i read yr post. thanks for enlightening me on that and also the fact that the issue of how to honor soldiers without honoring war crosses all national boundaries.

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  10. “They didn’t realise that having a moral opposition to war didn’t necessarily mean you had to have an accompanying opposition to those who had served in a war.”

    Amen. It’s impossible not to respect anyone willing to die for their beliefs, whatever they may be.

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  11. PAUL:
    So well said. I couldn’t agree more.

    JASON:
    It’s a big day here in Australia. It is important to honour the soldiers no matter what one’s stance is on war. And it is nice to know that thought does cross national boundaries.

    QUERULOUS:
    Oh, definitely. Many people find it hard to distinguish between the two.

    MELEAH:
    It is a great story, isn’t it? They were such brave men.

    BRITT:
    I completely agree. I also respect anyone with strong principles and passions. I second that Amen.

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  12. KAREN:
    All of the soldiers I have met have inspired me. I’m not sure I could do what they do. I think it’s important to express our gratitude towards them.
    Cheers, hon.

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  13. David’s quote choked me up too. It’s a heartwarming thought and I hope I’m not too naive in hoping that in years to come the Iraqi and Afgani people will share that sentiment too. Oh the thought that brave people have to die like that makes me feel ill. Please, no more!

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