Monday, April 25, 2011

ANZAC in Aotearoa . . .

On the 25th April 1915, thousands of NZ and Australian solders along with many, many other allied solders were thrust ashore onto the Turkish beach, Gallipoli, under constant gun fire from Turkish army above them.  It was total bloodshed and miserably managed, so much unnecessary death and injury.
96 yrs on, this day is always remembered by New Zealanders and Australians with dawn services across the countries, solemn church services, young and old marching together . . .to remember them.
For many years, Ellena and I have put the red Flanders poppy the RSA men sell, on the cenotaph in Hamilton. Now it is just myself and my thoughts . . . My paternal Grandfather, Mick Meehan, went away to WW1 , a glorious adventure, he was only 20, a young farming boy from Wanganui. He came home shattered, not so much in body but needed time to sort his emotions out at Hamner Springs, which was then used as a rehabilitation center for war veterans. He was a gentle, loving man who raised a family and worked hard.
The cenotaph by the river here in Hamilton, this was yesterday before the rain and the wreaths, put there today. The solders, men and women from each war NZ has taken part in, march slowly across the Victoria bridge at dawn, gathering in silence beside the cenotaph. What is quite amazing, is the number of young people there - wonderful to see them listening and learning about what their Grand and G Grand parents did for their country.
A special day, a day for reflection - today seemed ideal . . . wet and gloomy.

5 comments:

L. D. Burgus said...

It is so great that you remember to put the poppies on each year. The world is filled with history of sad stories of broken men after the war. It effects the families sometime for a few generations.

HENHOUSE POTTERY said...

It is a beautiful tribute that you continue to put a poppy on each year. What a good reminder to all of us to cherish the service of our soldiers, even long after the time they have served.

Matron said...

Your cenotaph in Hamilton is absolutely identical to the one in Whitehall in London!.. There is a NZ war memorial on Hyde Park Corner here in London if you ever visit!

juliet said...

Beautiful remembrances; thank you.

Joan said...

Lovely post. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words.