ANZAC was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).
ANZAC Day (celebrated on 25 April each year) is a national public holiday and is considered by many Australians to be one of the most solemn days of the year.
Ceremonies of remembrance and marches take place in cities and towns throughout the country. It’s a time when then Nation shows its gratitude and pride for all our men and women who fought and died in all wars.
This poem by D Hunter captures beautifully the sentiment of the day. – Be aware though, if you are like me it will bring a tear to your eye each time you read it.
I saw a kid marchin’ with medals on his chest.
He marched alongside Diggers marching six abreast.
He knew that it was ANZAC Day – he walked along with pride.
He did his best to keep in step with the Diggers by his side.
And when the march was over the kid was rather tired.
A Digger said “Whose medals, son?” to which the kid replied:
“They belong to daddy, but he did not come back.
He died up in New Guinea on a lonely jungle track”.
The kid looked rather sad then and a tear came to his eye.
The Digger said “Don’t cry my son and I will tell you why.
Your daddy marched with us today – all the blooming way.
We Diggers know that he was there – it’s like that on ANZAC Day”.
The kid looked rather puzzled and didn’t understand,
But the Digger went on talking and started to wave his hand.
“For this great land we live in, there’s a price we have to pay
For we all love fun and merriment in this country where we live.
The price was that some soldier his precious life must give.
For you to go to school my lad and worship God at will,
Someone had to pay the price so the Diggers paid the bill.
Your daddy died for us my son – for all things good and true.
I wonder if you understand the things I’ve said to you”.
The kid looked up at the Digger – just for a little while
And with a changed expression, said, with a lovely smile:
“I know my dad marched here today – this is ANZAC Day.
I know he did. I know he did, all the bloomin’ way”.
(A veteran of Shaggy Ridge with the 2/12 Battalion in WW2)
Here are just a few images from this years march in Brisbane.