ANZAC Day

Today is the day we remember those who served and died for our country, especially those of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

Below are the two pieces of poetry you will probably hear today (especially the Ode of Remembrance), both of which I find deeply moving. [Blurbs from Wikipedia]

Ode of Remembrance

The “Ode of Remembrance” is an ode taken from Laurence Binyon’s “For the Fallen”, which was first published in The Times in September 1914. The poet wrote For the Fallen while sitting on the cliffs between Pentire Point and The Rumps in north Cornwall, UK. The seven-verse poem honoured the World War I British war dead of that time and in particular the British Expeditionary Force, which had by then already had high casualty rates on the developing Western Front. The poem was published when the Battle of the Marne was foremost in people’s minds. Over time, the third and fourth verses of the poem (although often just the fourth) were claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of nation.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, 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.

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In Flanders Fields

“In Flanders Fields” is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before. The poem was first published on 8 December of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.

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.

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Sadly the world is still not at peace and service men and woman continue to die on foreign soil and even in tragic accidents at home – including today with the fatal crash of an Air Force Iroquois near Wellington this morning.

We will remember them.

Family update

And since I’ve rediscovered by blog today(!), I might as well post again to complete the trifecta for the evening.

Here’s a couple of recent photos of the kids and the vid we grabbed of some of Amy’s earliest steps…

Riding hippo at the zoo – shortly after her new hair style thanks to Mum and Aunty Jen,

Next up, the video of Amy starting her walking. Soon after this she reverted back to “knee-walking” with only the occasional steps. Now however, she chooses to walk whenever she can and delights in pushing her little prams around the house – very cute!

Early steps,

And along with her early steps, her first words are taking off – many related to food (that’s my girl!) including “more”, “milk” and “custard”. Her first word was of course “Dad”, although I believe Lou will say it was “Mum”… and rather than call the cats by name she delights in squealing at them! 🙂

Finally, here’s a recent pic of Matt – also at the zoo where he loves to drive the jeep!

Matt has taken great joy in Amy’s walking and delights in pointing out every time she walks across the room. He’s also super at entertaining his little sister, and I think between the rough and tumble he’s actually getting protective of her! As for entertaining us, Matt (like all toddlers no doubt) comes out with some funny things at times, but it’s the way kids approach language that fascinates me and makes you realise how silly some expressions are. One quirky statement of late is “I did that last day” – meaning yesterday – which actually makes perfect sense! 🙂

Ah the joy of kids – just as long as Amy grows out of her obsession with the Hi-5 Dance Hits DVD… 😛

Life Flight Open Day

Props to the folks at Life Flight – they certainly put on a good Open Day.

Matt and I headed down to the airport yesterday to see the aircraft and emergency vehicles on display. As well as the Rescue Helicopter and Life Flight Metroliner, the airport fire trucks put on a display, and the Police, Ambulance Service, Army Bomb Squad, and Customs Service dogs were all in attendance. Also for the kids was face painting, bouncy castles and hot dogs (applies to adults too!). Needless to say Matt had a great time and it was well worth the $5 donation – especially given the cause. Here’s a few pics from my Life Flight Open Day album,

Matt in the rescue chopper,

Controlling the bomb squad robot,

Driving the Police car,

Recent xkcd favs

A couple of xkcd comics that I’ve liked recently,

Seat Selection

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Hell

😀