1 EAGLETON NOTES: ANZAC DAY

.

.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

ANZAC DAY

On 25 April 2012 when I was in New Zealand I wrote the following post. This year is that 100th year of the Gallipoli landings. I feel as sad today as I did when I wrote that post. To those who died we of my generation in Britain who have never been conscripted to go to war owe a massive debt of gratitude. A debt that so many will gradually forget. 


Today is Anzac Day in New Zealand.  I have blogged about it previously in 2008 and 2009.  Pauline wrote a poignant post today which shows things from an Australian New Zealander's viewpoint.  Remembrance Day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is not Poppy Day in New Zealand.  Today is.

Martin was up at 5.15 to go to the Dawn Parade in Napier.  More and more people go each year.

I find that quite surprising given the fact that the day it commemorates - the day when Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand  Army Corps) landed in Gallipolli and the Gallipolli Campaign commenced - is almost 100 years ago.

Someone remarked to me today that she didn't need a 'Day' to remember those who had died in the events and horrors of war.  That made me think.  I don't think of either Anzac Day nor Remembrance Day as being a commemoration of a particular day nor a particular war.  To me all war is abhorrent.

I've blogged before on the subject of war and the 100 million or so people who lost their lives in wars during the last century.

If Anzac Day means that the horrors of war are brought to the forefront of our minds then I think that is a Good Thing.  If it means that we concentrate on the glorification of the heroics of war then I have severe reservations.

To me all war is anathema and, on balance, I think that the more we remember that then the less likely we are to end up in another war.  I would be much more comfortable, however, if the evidence of the past backed up that feeling and that hope.


13 comments:

  1. In Australia, it is the most solemn of days. I truly believe this day more than Australia Day unites us as a nation. I am not sure what it has been like in NZ but with the centenary being marked there have been so many new stories being told. Not all of us have an ANZAC lineage, but we can be overwhelmed by the sacrifice that was made for us and the lives we now enjoy because of that sacrifice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's been very special in New Zealand too Carol.

      Delete
  2. There have been so many incompetent campaigns. I wish politicians had learned from them.
    Now is not the day to apportion blame but to remember the sacrifice of the common man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adrian I wish that all people had learned from them.

      Delete
  3. Well said. We have to remember the horrors. We have to get to our politicians so that they realize that there are other ways to solve problems other than slaughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red I have an abhorrence of conflict but I'm afraid it will ever be with us.

      Delete
  4. Well said Graham, sadly though it seems mistakes from the past are not always lesson learnt and it seems that in this current day and age, the 'Commonwealth' and all they did in the fight for peace as been all but forgotten so yes these days of Remembrance bring things to the forefront of the minds of those concerned and everyone in general that is a good thing - let us learn and not forget!

    ReplyDelete
  5. A good post. I sometimes think that such things as Anzac day are more noticed now than they used to be among the general population. Strange when you consider that WW2 was closer in those days. Perhaps it is just that I as a child was less aware. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jenny. I've been much more aware of ANZAC Day since I've lived in NZ. I think that perhaps the awareness of WW1 is greater at the moment because of the centenary. I grew up in a blitzed city so I suppose I was, and am, much more aware of WW2 in general though.

      Delete
  6. I agree, Jenny. I think there is more publicity and awareness nowadays though I do recall the traffic stopping in Liverpool at 11.11 on Remembrance Day and I doubt that happens now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, CJ, we stopped in the office as well. Now it seems largely ignored.

      Delete
  7. We celebrate Remembrance Day here in November and the red poppies are still sold a week or two in advance.
    As a child growing up I remember my Dad telling me the significance of wearing a poppy and it has stuck with me all these years.
    We are very fortunate that others went to war for the sake of others.

    ReplyDelete