26 April 2008

Anzac Day

Yesterday was Anzac Day. As usual it was commemorated throughout the Antipodes and at Gallipoli with services, marches etc.

For the first time there was also a ceremony at Villers Bretonneux in France, the scene of a major battle in WW1 involving Australian troops around Anzac Day in 1918.

Apart from its own merits the French commemoration may in future become a handy replacement for the Gallipoli one should circumstances in Turkey change. This seems unlikely at the moment, but that part of the world remains volatile.

Enough of that for now. I was impressed to see the turnout and demeanour of the diplomats at the Wellington (NZ) ceremony which was telecast on Sky News. The wreath layers included the Iranian ambassador, which surprised me, given the picture of Iran which is usually painted in our media.

A couple of stories worth a look:

Ashley Porter in The Independent Weekly on Bob Quinn, Port Adelaide footballer, second AIF member (2/43 Battalion) and Military Medal winner.

David Tiley in Barista on several forgotten, and one remembered, if for other things, Aboriginal servicemen and women from WW2:
Can you guess who this might be?

She joined the army after her two brothers were taken prisoner in Singapore. Her training in typing and shorthand, partly in a post-war rehab scheme, left her working again as a domestic servant, but ultimately helped her as an activist.

She wrote a few lines which stand both as accusation for the present mess, and as true words about the way we should see April 25th -

“To our father’s fathers
The pain, the sorrow;
To our children’s children
The glad tomorrow.”

To find out read the entire post, which also has a good photo.

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