By H.Naomi March
ANZAC Day, Saturday, 25 April, 2020
While we are protecting New Zealand from the invisible enemy of COVID-19 we cannot march in a Dawn Parade, or attend a Memorial Service this year – but we still remember all our Military Personal, including Nurses, who have died in all military actions, defending freedom.
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
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
We also remember those who served and returned from all Military and Peace-Keeping actions – especially those with physical &/or psychological injuries.
We remember our current Defence Force personnel, with deepest gratitude.
We tenderly remember all the families of those who serve, and have served.
LEST WE FORGET
The Origins of Anzac Day
In December 1914, during preparations for the Gallipoli invasion, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force contingents were grouped together for the first time as Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Together, they provided almost half of the total number of troops in the Allied Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF). From this point on, all combined Australian and New Zealand forces became known as ‘ANZACs’.
On 25 April 1915, Australians and New Zealanders landed together at Gallipoli at a place later called ANZAC Cove. This date has been adopted ever since as the national day of remembrance for war dead in both countries. This first observance of ANZAC Day in New Zealand took place in 1916.
An RNZAF airwoman helps with the RSA’s Poppy Day street appeal in Wellington in 1979.
Image credit: ©RNZAF Official PR2334-8~79
In the Spring of 1915, fields of red poppies bloomed in the churned-up ground of the Flanders battlefields in Belgium. This sight inspired Canadian officer John McCrae to write the famous poem,’ In Flanders Fields’ and resulted in the red poppy becoming an internationally recognised symbol of remembrance.
Beginning in America in 1920, poppies were made and sold to raise funds for veterans. The New Zealand RSA sold over 260,000 poppies for veterans’ welfare in the first ever poppy day for ANZAC Day 1922. This tradition has continued to this day, with the poppy now representing the sacrifice made by New Zealanders in all conflicts since World War One.
The Air Force Museum has asked us to please share the ANZAC story with children, and have included a colouring-in page on their website.
In Flanders Fields
By Lt. Col. John McCrae
WWI Canadian Soldier, Physician and Poet
In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.