ANZAC Day 2017

25 April 2017

We all have our own ways of doing ANZAC Day and remembering those New Zealanders (and Australians) who served and died overseas in the two World Wars as well as in other conflicts.

Post what you remember and feel about ANZAC Day here.

(This is a pre-ANZAC post that will be carried forward tomorrow)

ANZAC

Missy posted about a visit to Ypres in Belgium last August:

Past ANZAC Day posts:

“New Zealand Soldier” became the “OFFICIAL SONG” of “THE NEW ZEALAND ARMY”.
Dedicated to all those Men and Women who served in the First and Second World Wars and whom are currently serving in the New Zealand Armed Forces:

 

 

Conservatives pick very poor fight

The Conservative Party need to try to attract attention, but using war and Anzac Day to do it very poor.

ConservativesAnzacDisgrace

Leighton, this is crappy. Some will see it as disrespectful, even disgraceful.

Conservative Party Leader Leighton Baker, an ANZAC message to New Zealand.

“The Conservative Party is still here, and we are still continuing the fight. People ask what we are fighting for, well we are actually fighting for exactly the same things that our soldiers fought for in WW1 and WW2 and other wars.  We are fighting for our families, we are fighting for our freedom, and we are fighting for democracy.

Years ago in WW1 and 2, our soldiers went offshore and they fought for freedom, democracy and their families. There is another war and that’s going on right here in New Zealand, right now.  We are losing our democracy.  In all the citizens initiated referenda we’ve had, no Government, on either side – left or right, had ever listened to or ever acted on the results.

Life is important to all New Zealanders. From birth, through to the grave, we’ve got to value life. That’s part of who we are as New Zealanders.  We have always done that and that’s what we fought for.

Our families are being destroyed.  We are seeing more and more crime,  suicides and addictions. And why is that? Because there is a disconnect within our families.  That’s where we believe, as the Conservative Party, we need to focus.  We have to focus on families survival.

I would encourage you to get behind the Conservative Party, because our policies are practical, they’re addressing the real issues, and they are real solutions that are not just ‘throw money at it’.

The Conservative Party is a party for all people that want to see a decent society, where we can bring up our children, and our grandchildren, now and into the future”.

War and remembrance of those who have died through Anzac Day should be off limits to tacky political promoters.

The Conservative Party needs support. This is more likely to lose it.

ANZAC Day 2016 – Lest We Forget

In honour of members the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who served during the Great War of 1914–18 and subsequent wars.

ANZAC

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

Your NZ community tributes:

Pickled Possum:

Lest we forget

THE OFFICIAL 28TH MĀORI BATTALION WEBSITE

WW1 AND WW2 ROLLS

PHOTOS / VIDEO / AUDIO

Missy:

My Grandfather’s Uncle was killed in Belgium during WWI, he was in one of the Otago Regiments (I can’t remember which one off the top of my head), but what was interesting about his death is it wasn’t in any battle, but rather on a recce mission with an officer and 2 other OR’s. I have been to his grave, it is in the Buttes New British Cemetery just out of Ypres.

I would like to however, also offer respect to all of those that are currently, or have previously, served in the NZDF, my experience in general is that the guys and gals in the NZDF are a great group of incredibly professional individuals. What can be achieved in the NZDF in a short period of time, with limited resources, will take some defence forces with greater resources a much longer time. So to all current and previous serving NZDF personnel I salute you, you do a great job, and it is time that we worked harder to look after our young veterans, and we need to take time out this Anzac day to remember it is not just about WWI, or WWII, but also remembering all that have served, and those that have died whilst serving.

Kitty Catkin:

None of my relations were from NZ, but the great-aunts and uncles served in WWII. My mother was a young girl and hoped that it would last long enough for her to join up, as her young aunts looked so glam in their uniforms-they did, too, they were the kind of girls who had them tailor-made rather than wearing army issue, and as they were all as chic as anything, they made army uniform look elegant. I wish that I could say that I looked that good in any uniform I have ever worn. One great-uncle was in Canada and met a Canadian girl-after the war, he went back and married her.

Our neighbour when I was at school had been on Crete and had some interesting stories to tell (he could never eat grapes again, they all became sick to death of them but there was often not much else) The Germans were dopey enough to both attempt to infiltrate the British troops and offer a reward for any of them handed in by the Greeks, Needless to say that the Greeks were not so stupid that they couldn’t tell a German when they met one, and quite a few of these were handed in for the reward-which the Germans had to give those handing them in-after being given a good seeing-to by the finders. The unlucky soldiers were taken to the German HQ in a very sorry state-and the Germans couldn’t say anything, of course😀 Serve the buggers right.

When I was very young, I knew a Gallipoli veteran ! I saw his medals, photos etc. Then the old men were WWI veterans. They were by now very old, and when I was a trainee nurse the ones who were in the geriatric wards were often reliving the war-the horrible parts-in their dreams (nightmares) and, oh horror, those whose minds had gone were likely to be stuck in that timewarp. How appalling to be either reliving it in dreams or all the time.

I was told that some of the Jewish relations were never heard of again, but don’t know who-and my mother knew that if Hitler invaded the UK, she and her family would be Jewish enough to be murdered. She and a schoolfriend (or probably more than one) used to climb up on the school roof (she went off to boarding school at 11) and watch the bombing raids on Belfast docks. I don’t know if there was a rule against this, or whether the school assumed that nobody would be stupid enough to do it.

Gezza:

Still miss the old soldier who begat us. D, 2006, aged 88. Machine gunner. Volunteered. North Africa & Italy. Invalided home from Casino. The only things he’d talk about were the funny things that happened, Montgomery, respect they had for Rommel when he overran their positions, told the British field surgeon to keep working, then released him, and the dreaded 88’s. He wouldn’t go the RSA, only the occasional dawn parade. He felt sometimes they glorified the war instead of just remembering the dead.

– from Looking towards ANZAC Day

Stuff: Quiz: Are you an Anzac history buff?

My paternal grandfather served in France with the New Zealand’s Divisional Engineers, 3rd Field Company.

My maternal grandfather served in France in a Welsh regiment and was badly injured. He moved his family to New Zealand when he could after the war.

I know of two great uncles from Chelsea who were killed in WWI. My grandmother met and married my grandfather after the war and returned to New Zealand with him.

My father served in Italy during WW2 and then in Japan with J Force. While in Japan his father died while serving in the Army in Christchurch.

Two uncles served in WW2. Ken was killed in Italy and is buried at Faenza.

– previously posted:  Lloyd George ANZAC tribute

 

Poppy Day

ANZAC Day on 25 April is ten days away but today is Poppy Day, when RSA fundraising takes to the streets and to the Internet.

poppyappeal

The annual Poppy Appeal is the primary source of funds for the RSA’s extensive provision of support services to war veterans and the ex-service community.

You don’t have to be a member of an RSA to benefit from the Poppy Appeal assistance. Donations are used to support veterans as well as ex-servicemen and women, and their dependents, living in the community where the funds are raised.

The poppy reminds us of sacrifices made – both past and present. Poppies were the first flowers that grew in the battlefields of Flanders in Belgium during World War One and are a symbol of remembrance and hope.

The Poppy Day street collection is held each year on the Friday before Anzac Day. RSA volunteers exchange distinctive red poppies for a donation to the Poppy Appeal.

So please make whatever donation you can afford on Poppy Day. Your generosity enables us to continue our vital support work.

Thanks Petals!

How should one mark ANZAC Day?

‘Akaroa’ at Kiwiblog:

How should one mark ANZAC Day?

Get up in the pre-dawn hours and stand with others at dawn to ‘Remember Them”?

Or, at home, silently and quietly reflect on the sacrifices made, the pointlessness of it all and how it all seems to go on and on.?

I don’t know. I’ll probably get blitzed for saying this, but I sometimes feel a bit put off by public gatherings and dawn services. To me, they always seem a bit contrived and orchestrated instead of being personal, private memorials.

And I’ve been to a few dawn ceremonies here and there – and adjourned to the RSA afterwards to have a glass of ‘gunfire’ followed by a few jars.

In Singapore we stood in Kranji Cemetery amongst the graves of the fallen POWs.

In Bangkok we stood at the cemetery embracing those who died on the Railway of Death.

But I guess the best way to honour those who fell would be to make sure nothing like it ever happens again.

But that’s a vain hope, IMHO.

(Pretty reflective time, ANZAC Day, eh?)

Yep, each to their own.

It shouldn’t be a vain hope – we should be bloody determined to avoid wide scale man-made disasters, and that includes getting sucked into them by other countries in other parts of the world.

Unfortunately sometimes not fighting at all is an extremely risky option, as the ISIS threat demonstrates.

On ANZAC Day

An excellent comment from Alan Wilkinson:

If ANZAC day is to be politicised it should be to identify, remember and never repeat the human beliefs, misconceptions and mistakes that made WW1 an utter and awful disaster for humanity before, during and after.

To remember bravery, courage, loyalty and terrible loss is fine, but that should go along with recognising gross destructive stupidity from top leadership down to the ordinary women who sent white feathers to those who objected to joining the insanity it was.

Sums things up well.

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.

Open Forum – ANZAC Day

25 April 2015

Your input is important.

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

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Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.

Mondayising ANZAC and Waitangi Days a step closer

The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill passed its committee stages on a voice vote in Parliament tonight. Labour MP David Clark began by thanking supporters of his bill:

I want to place on record from the outset my thanks to all of those parties in Parliament that are supporting this bill. To my Labour colleagues, the Green Party, New Zealand First, the Māori Party, United Future, Mana, and Brendan Horan, they have all pledged their support for this bill and without it this bill would not pass through the House.

National and Act oppose the bill but are not trying to stop it’s passage. Clark suggested they support the bill…

So I want the National Party to get in behind this bill. I want John Key to get in behind this bill.

…but then lambasted Key…

His suggestion today in Parliament that ordinary Kiwis could not be trusted to front on Anzac Day is a disgrace. It is an outrage.

..which doesn’t look like a genuine attempt to win Key over. As one subsequent National speaker said:

MIKE SABIN (National—Northland): I find it a little ironic that the member resuming his seat, Dr David Clark, is asking for the support of the Prime Minister and then sets about beating him around the head with a frozen fish as to his rationale. It does exemplify what we have seen so often from the Opposition the beatings will continue until morale improves approach to garnering support.

Clark has done this before, being heavily critical of Peter Dunne for not supporting his Minimum Wage bill. He can have a bit of a “you’re with us or against us” attitude.

In a press release David Shearer followed a similar approach, repeating comments he had made during Question Time:

“Almost everyone except John Key and his National MPs support this legislation. Polls show most New Zealanders support it. Businesses support it. The tourism industry supports it. And even John Key once said that it was ‘fair enough’.

But there was scant support shown by Labour MPs yesterday, with only a handful participating – four plus Clark at the beginning of the debate.

MondayBill

Despite the low numbers a good debate followed with some strong speeches from both sides of the house.

National’s main objection was that Mondayising ANZAC day would detract from the commemoration aspect of the day (throughtout the speeches ANZAC Day was frequently mentioned as being the most important aspect of the pros and cons, with Waitangi Day getting far fewer passing mentions).

Sabin closed the debate with further acknowwledgment to Clark (previous speakers had also done this):

I just want to acknowledge David Clark and the work that he has done on this, and although I am new to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee…

And went on to summarise his and National’s position:

…I also acknowledge the select committee and just reflect on the fine balance that I think is reflected here. I have listened very carefully to the contributions from across the Chamber, and mine, as I spoke to previously, does reflect very much my view that the servicemen, in particular, on Anzac Day tip that balance in favour of voting against this bill. That is certainly where my position comes from, and the reverence and importance of that day in commemoration.

He also pointed out some Labour history:

I just want to reflect on a couple of points from former Labour Party members of Parliament.

One Minister of Māori Affairs, Matiu Rata, said: “Like Anzac Day, New Zealand Day is not to be Mondayised. It is the significance of the occasion that is important, rather than the fact that it be a paid public holiday. It should not be regarded as merely an extra paid holiday.” That was one Matiu Rata who made that comment.

Another former Minister of Internal Affairs, one Hon Mr May, said: “The Government believes that Mondayising of New Zealand Day would distract from the importance of the significance of the event it commemorates.”

Another former MP, Mr Rēweti, said that the committee considered that it was justified in declaring that Waitangi Day should not be Mondayised, because the Labour Party had gone to the electors in 1972 on the policy that Waitangi Day would not be Mondayised.

Those were the heady days of the Labour Party—the working man’s party—that we remember, but I do not necessarily believe that they are represented in the Chamber here today.

Another former MP, one Mr Marshall, said: “I believe that it would greatly detract from the observance of the New Zealand Day for it to be Mondayised and turned into just another long weekend.”

I think it is quite clear that there is a shift in the modern Labour Party, if I could call it that, from the traditional values that were held. I believe that those traditional values that are actually held across the country are something that we should reflect on in this Chamber, and certainly I do in being quite happy to oppose this bill.

But the bill had sufficient support to pass on a voice vote. It will be popular – people like extra holidays, even if it’s just one or two extra days every six or seven years. Clark had promoted popular support in his speech.

It indicates several things: the popularity of this bill, the fact that it is common sense, and that it restores to ordinary Kiwis the 11 public holidays they expect to receive every year.

Actually no, thaty’s an odd claim, it restores nothing. It gives us more than we had.

It has been universally popular since it was made clear that commemorations will still occur on the same days that they always have, that is 6 February for Waitangi Day and 25 April for Anzac Day.

The fact that a holiday follows on the Monday that follows a weekend occurrence of those days is what changes. We have a bill that makes sure that we have those 11 holidays ever year. That gives those holidays the full recognition that other holidays have. 

More than 80 percent of New Zealanders in some polls support this bill. In the only quantitative survey that has been done 87 percent of small and medium sized business owners are either in support or neutral toward this bill.

So the bill proceeds.

I think ANZAC Day will continue to be commemorated appropriately on each 25th of April, regardless if we get an additional day off on Monday occasionally.

But Waitangi Day will simply be a long holiday weekend to most people.

I don’t think anyone will be bothered by the change, it’s a minor tweak to our holidays that we will barely notice.

Video of the speeches begin: Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill – Committee Stage – Taken as one debate – Part 1

Patriotism in action

Guest column by Martin Gibson, as published in Gisborne Herald, Saturday 28 April.

As I listened to the Last Post echo across the rivers I wondered about the best way to be patriotic these days.

Not some elite-approved token patriotism of watching sport, or boorish jealous hassling of our Australian brothers in arms, but action, effort and sacrifice for the idea of New Zealand, and kinship with those who live here.

What would those East Coast Diggers, sailors and airmen have wanted us to do besides turn up at the Cenotaph on Anzac Day to remember them?

When it comes to asking questions about what the veterans we honour on Anzac Day would want of us, I have an advantage, because my neighbour survived WW2.

When I asked him what he thought was the best way for us to be patriotic, he scratched his head, then said it was probably for people to appreciate freedom by standing up for it, even if it’s someone else’s welfare or freedom.

“It’s so easy for us to live in our own bubbles, watch the telly and just think of ourselves. We need to get out of our bubbles and help each other . . . I reckon that’s pretty patriotic,” he said.

The growing crowds of young people at cenotaphs each Anzac Day suggest a desire to follow the example of those men and women who had courage, sacrifice and selflessness extracted from them by the time of their birth.

We know that, by contrast, our time allows cowardice to go mostly undetected. It favours the greedy and fosters the belief that individuals are more important than the health of society.

In our hearts we know this will never bring the best out of us individually or as a community.

Is it possible to get some of the benefit of wartime without the conflict, futility and waste?

We need to keep sifting the wheat from the chaff in terms of the legacy of war, because war is hell.

Servicemen who returned bristling with the tapu of Tu brought wars back into our homes, where they continue to rage even today, spilling out into our streets in gangs and schools, killing and wounding.

Heavy drinking is handy for someone trying to briefly erase horrible memories, but the behaviour of heroes was followed by generations after.

We do not honour our veterans by ignoring the mental and spiritual illness they brought back and in many cases spread around.

As I walked home from the dawn parade, I passed the council chambers and army hall. I stopped a while and thought about the young men who had once stood there.

I imagined them waiting to sign up, trying to appear brave, hands often calloused from building our houses and shops, clearing bush and building fences in the hills around the East Coast. Some barely out of primary school. Excited by how life was about to veer from dull hard work to meaning, heroism, history, adventure. Away from Gisborne, out of Te Tairawhiti to see the world and be tempered in the fires of war!

Perhaps it is that willingness to serve we should begin to honour, rather than bad luck in the roll of the dice, the drop of the bomb, the sweep of the machine gun, or an unexpected talent for killing.

This way we can also honour those who did not see combat, including the women left to do the work, raise the kids and cope with the loss.

We can look with equanimity at those who refused to go and often suffered worse.

Each year, more and more young people turn up to the cenotaphs, signalling the will to step up and serve also evident in Canterbury’s Student Army after last year’s quakes.

Rather than despairing of our young people, it is time we offered them their own testing missions with meaning.

Whether they are combating hunger, declaring war on pests, defending treeless rivers, rescuing polluted water, here or overseas, they deserve some well-organised, well-resourced heroic missions that may echo down the generations to come.

If we can find the will to act decisively without being forced to act, our great advantage is that we can pick our battles, and these have the potential to leave us with more leaders and heroes, not fewer.