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ANZAC 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today is when New Zealanders and Australians remember servicemen who served abroad in many theatres of war. The 25th April represents the Gallipoli campaign during World War 1 when for the first time these troops fought as representatives of their own nation, rather than as contingents of the British Army. Losses in Turkey and on the Western Front were appalling on both sides of the conflict.

ANZACs remember also the words of Kemel Ataturk in a memorial plaque in Canberra:
Centrally located in the wall is a bronze likeness of Atatürk – a gift of the Turkish government by Turkish sculptor Hüseyin Gezer. The inscription, written by Atatürk, pays tribute to the ANZACs and reflects his understanding of the cost of war:
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

And a similar realisation of the common situation of all combatants is here:

Strange Meeting
It seemed that out of the battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
"Strange friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn."
"None," said the other, "Save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something has been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now ...

Kenneth Branagh reads this poem:

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
EFFIEANNIE 5/5/2013 7:35AM

    Beautifully done. I love learning about your country and traditions etc. Hope you are doing well.

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AWESOMECHELZ 4/30/2013 7:16PM

    Wow! Really beautiful and touching. Thanks for sharing. emoticon Chelsea

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SABLENESS 4/30/2013 12:49PM

    I'm reading belatedly, but thank you. emoticon prayers for a peace-filled world.

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WIZKEY 4/25/2013 2:48PM

    Thank you for the explanation and the poem.

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ARTJAC 4/25/2013 4:59AM


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NEW-CAZ 4/25/2013 3:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TOTHEFUTURE1 4/24/2013 11:34PM


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MICKEYH 4/24/2013 10:44PM

    Thank you for sharing a great memorable history and the great poem. emoticon

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WENDYJM4 4/24/2013 10:19PM

    thank you for sharing the inscription from Atatürk and also the poem, very moving. Just watched the ANZAC march from Adelaide on TV and the amount of parents with their children there is fantastic. We will never forget.
Lest We Forget. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 4/24/2013 9:30PM

    I found the events in Darwin to be very moving - this is a special day to be here!

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RDEE22 4/24/2013 8:53PM

    It is such a special day. Lest we forget!!!! emoticon emoticon

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AMYTRIPP 4/24/2013 8:11PM

    Thank you for sharing that!

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LYNMEINDERS 4/24/2013 7:16PM

    Its a great poem...thankyou

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SUSIEPH1 4/24/2013 7:01PM

    Thank you so much Penny for sharing this lovely and moving poem xx
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VTRICIA 4/24/2013 5:19PM

    Thanks for sharing this.

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PCOH051610 4/24/2013 5:17PM

    What a moving poem. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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ROZOZ68 4/24/2013 4:35PM

    Thanks so much for this! Lest we forget!
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