Poppies for the living
To remember the dead
For the ones
Those that remain
Poppies pinned to their heart
For the ones they lost
daughters and sons
uncles, and aunts
The sun no more to shine on their faces
Some marked with crosses while others
Unmarked in forgotten places
We honour them now
stand solemn and grave
And thank them
the price that they paid
A symbol of poppies
Bathed, blood red
Wear your poppies
Tell the children
Least we forget
The sacrifice of those
Whose blood that was shed
By A.J.N Gallagher 2022
Tomorrow is ANZAC day. The day NZ'ers and Australians alike remember those that fought and died during conflicts around the world.
How did Anzac day start?
It stems back to April 25th 1915, when New Zealand Expeditionary Force joined together with the Australians in Galipoli to fight against the turks and became known as ANZACS. Australian New Zealand Army Corps. The place they landed at became known as Anzac cove, A place where Turk, NZ'ers Austalian's and others would make a pilgrimage to (before covid) to remember the cost.
It is interesting to note that the first observance of Anzac Day in New Zealand took place in 1916. The war did not finish til 1918.
How did the poppies become the symbol?
As the war spread across Europe, a Canadian officer, John McCrae looked across Flanders battlefield in the spring of Belguim 1915 and saw all the red poppies blooming amongst the carnage. From this sight he wrote the famous poem, 'In Flanders Field,' a poem that is read at every Anzac day parade.
From this poem the red poppy became the international symbol of remembrance.
Here is the link to the poem.
It wasn't until the 1920s that poppies were sold in America to raise funds for veterans, an idea that New Zealand adopted and has done every year since.
Anzac Parades today
In New Zealand the dawn parade grows, and i'm always impressed that the younger generation grows with them. A sight that inspires those that are grey in hair, but not in heart.
It has also become a symbol of peace. Where those from all races and creeds can meet and pray for peace.
The motto is 'Least we Forget.'
How my family commemorate Anzac day
This year I will be watching the Anzac parade at home with my ninety one year old father. He watches it every year but now is too frail to be there in person. The last time we tried he left in an ambulance. I am so grateful that to the wonders of technology we are able to watch the live stream of the dawn parade in our hometown from the comfort of his home.
My fiancee will be joining us with her grandson from Colorado via video link, so it will be an international affair.
As I look back through my family history, I see those that were in conflicts as far back as the Boer war (1899). My father was too young for the second world war but still joined up later on but never saw any action. He had an interesting job in the airforce. One that still makes me smile.
His brother was in the second world war and after and was wounded and captured at Crete. He has written a book on the subject and other short stories until his death in his nineties.
As I close I would like to say, that where ever you are, and whichever country you come from, I hope you will take a moment to remember those in your family and others round the world that have fought and even now are fighting for the freedoms we take fro granted.
Now more than ever we need to remember their sacrifice.
'Least We Forget.'
Please feel free to forward this blog to others.
Quote for the month.
If the Battle is hard, then you are leading the way for others.
If the battle is light, others have gone before.
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