Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Anzac Day

Today, 25th April, is Anzac Day in Australia. We commemorate all the men and women who have given their lives to defend our nation, and we remember this day especially because it marks our first huge defeat at Gallipoli on April 25th, 1915.

Much has been written about Anzac Day, about whether we should celebrate war and why Australia commemorates a massive defeat. I don't plan to add to the debate today. I can't imagine being an Australian without recognising Anzac Day in some form. I can remember at primary school in those dreadful years when I was prone to giggling, but had to take part in a minute's silence. I would imagine fine young men, landing at Gallipoli, being shot before they reached the sand. It would stop the giggles, quick smart. And those imaginings have lingered ever since.

The poem below sums up rather well, what Anzac Day is all about.


Sir - would it help if I shed a tear
I swear it’s the first time since this time last year
My spine is a tingle - my throat is all dry
As I stand to attention for all those who died

I watch the flag dancing half way down the pole
That damn bugle player sends chills to my soul
I feel the pride and the sorrow - there’s nothing the same
As standing to attention on ANZAC Day

So Sir - on behalf of the young and the free
Will you take a message when you finally do leave
To your mates that are lying from Tobruk to the Somme
The legend of your bravery will always live on

I’ve welcomed Olympians back to our shore
I’ve cheered baggy green caps and watched Wallabies score
But when I watch you marching (Sir) in that parade
I know these are the memories that never will fade

So Sir - on behalf of the young and the free
Will you take a message when you finally do leave
It’s the least we can do (Sir) to repay the debt
We’ll always remember you - Lest We Forget

Damian (Dib) Morgan 1998

To the right is a modern picture of Anzac Cove, where it all began...

Traditionally, we eat Anzac biscuits on this day. They're made from oats, coconut, butter, flour and golden syrup and are quite yummy and similar to the biscuits sent to the soldiers at the front.

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