We remember them

We will remember in our own ways.

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.

– For The Fallen, Laurence Binyon

– “The Last Post” ANZAC anthem by Band of the Royal Regiment of New Zealand Artillery.

The war memorial I attended every year as a child.

I haven’t been to an ANZAC service since my childhood. I remember in my own way.

Both my grandfathers served in France in the First World War. One was shot in the chest, the other got a medal on his chest. So many could have got either. Or both.

I sometimes think I was lucky my grandfathers survived the war, and then I realise that many of those who died never had the chance to have children or grandchildren. Both my parents were born after the war so if either of my grandfathers hadn’t survived I would never have been.

I can remember.

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5 Comments

  1. Lest we forget…

    Reply
  2. kittycatkin

     /  25th April 2015

    I was privileged to know an old man who was at Gallipoli. When I was a young girl, the old war veterans were the WWI soldiers & I knew others who’d been at the Somme and other places, but can’t now remember who was where. Many of them who had put all that behind them had the most appalling flashbacks and nightmares in old age; I am prone to horrible nightmares, but I imagine that my worst ones are pleasant dreams by comparison. I will never forget being at Ypres on a filthy November night, Sleet and snow coming down horizontally-the wreaths being blown along the bridge-and all those pillars covered with names. It was so bad that we should not really have been on the road (by the time it became really appalling we were on our way and kept going) on the way there, but we had a commitment. We were so late (and we were with a Belgian who knew the country, of course) that we lost the way & they thought we were not coming, I ran into the church just as the announcement was being made that we must have been prevented.

    The soldiers were fighting in that !!! Being in it for a few minutes was bad enough. I kept thinking this morning that if they could be there in that, I could be at the Dawn Parade and not stay in bed while my husband went alone.

    Reply
  3. kittycatkin

     /  25th April 2015

    Believe it or not, while everyone else was reverently listening, a woman near me was-yes, she kept pulling out her phone and gazing at it as she scrolled down. Not a very young woman, either, The young ones showed great respect, even the children.

    Nobody’s that important that they need to check their messages at that hour.

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  25th April 2015

    I’ve been to the Suda Bay cemetery on Crete where there are hundreds of NZ soldiers from WW2 buried, many unnamed. Very, very sad place.

    Reply
  5. Missy

     /  25th April 2015

    I attended the Dawn Service at the Australian Embassy in Beijing this morning, it is the first one I have attended outside of either NZ or Australian. It was truly a joint service, more so than those I attended in Australia, in fact it was an international service with the US Marines providing the catafalque guard, and the bugler from the PLA. The Ode was read in English and Maori, and both Ambassadors spoke, as well as children from NZ and Australia.

    Unlike services in NZ it was pretty light when it started at 0515, so we weren’t really in the dark. Afterward I spent the afternoon with some Aussies, Kiwis, (and the odd one or two other nationality), drinking, eating, watching the Gallipoli Service, and then some sport, and of course an obligatory game or 5 of two-up. 🙂

    All in all I found I was more reflective at this service than I have been at services in NZ, and it was nice to gather with Kiwis and Aussies to remember and reflect on this part of our shared history.

    Reply

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