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.

.

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.

.

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.

About Chris
A self confessed geek, meteorologist (aka weather forecaster), father & proud kiwi mainlander living, working & playing in Wellington, New Zealand.

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