Sunday, April 25, 2010


Today, Anzac Day, Australians and New Zealanders come together to remember and honour our soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli in defense of their families, their country, their ideals. The Anzac Requiem, written by Dr. Charles E W Bean, says what we all feel today.

The Anzac Requiem
On this day above all days we recall those who served in war and who did not return to receive the grateful thanks of the nation.

We remember those who still sleep where they were left - amid the holly scrub in the valleys and on the ridges of Gallipoli - on the rocky and terraced hills of Palestine - and in the lovely cemeteries of France.

We remember those who lie asleep in ground beneath the shimmering haze of the Libyan desert - at Bardia, Dema, Tobruk - and amid the mountain passes and olive groves of Greece and Crete, and the rugged, snow-capped hills of Lebanon and Syria.

We remember those who lie buried in the rank jungle of Malaya and Burma - in New Guinea - and in the distant isles of the Pacific.

We remember those who lie buried amid loving friends in our Motherland and in our own far North.

We remember those who lie in unknown resting places in almost every land, and those gallant men whose grave is the unending sea.

Especially do we remember those who died as prisoners of war remote from their homeland, and from the comforting presence of their kith and kin.

We think of those of our women's services who gave their lives in our own and foreign lands and at sea, and of those who proved to be, in much more than name, the sisters of our fighting men.

We recall, too, the staunch friends who fought beside our men on the first ANZAC Day - men of New Zealand who helped create the name of ANZAC.

We recall all those who gave their lives in the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force, the Merchant Service and in British Commonwealth and Allied Forces, and we think of those British men and women who fell, when, for the second time in history, their nation and its kindred stood alone against the overwhelming might of an oppressor; we think of every man and woman who in those crucial hours died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine.

We think of those gallant men who died in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam and in peacekeeping and peace enforcing commitments assisting to defend the Commonwealth, and other countries of the Free World, against a common enemy.

May these all rest proudly in the knowledge of their achievement, and may we and our successors in that heritage prove worthy of their sacrifice.


Nancy said...

Beautifully said. I often think of all the lives lost in wars that young people had no desire to fight. What might they have done with those dear lives?

alaine@éclectique said...

Nancy...some as young as 15, who lied about their age to go on this great 'adventure' to fight for their country! Some of them so naive to think that it was an opportunity of a lifetime to see the world! And they didn't return. I've just watched the dawn services at Gallipoli, Turkey and France at Villers-Bretonneaux, where our troops fought two years later in 1917. Wonderful services and my cheeks are very damp!