Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day 2012

It is April 25th here in Australia, ANZAC Day. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It is the day Australian and New Zealand families look back and pay homage to our fallen soldiers. To those who have gone before us, to those who fought for our freedom and the freedom of many around the world.
In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the alliance with Great Britain to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula during the First World War. In what was expected to be a swift and unexpected strike turned into an eight month battle with heavy casualties for all the allies.
Since 1916, we have remembered our service men and women with dawn services and street marches in most towns and cities no matter how large or small.
The poem most read for our fallen. The bold paragraph is the most well known.
For the fallen
By Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)
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 condemn.
 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 at 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.
Today take some time to remember those who have lost their lives, but mostly remember those they left behind. The wives, children,  mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, these are people who have given us so much in their darkest hours.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
‘Lest We Forget’

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