Muse du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. I also satisfy my creative muse with sewing, cooking, writing and reading. These are my thoughts and adventures with whichever muse drives me each day. You can find more of my art at www.marianneplumridge.com

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Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ANZAC DAY

Lest We Forget


At dawn on the 25 April 1915, massed Australian and New Zealand troops swarmed up the beach at Gallipoli and into the pages of history. Under heavy fire from the cliffs above, many didn’t make it out of the boats onto the sand, and of those that did waded through heat and sand and the bloody bodies of their fallen comrades to a tenuous foothold on a beach that they should never have been on.

These were the Australia and New Zealand Army Corp: known to one and all as the ANZACs. Their bravery and staunch humour in the face of incoming fire only added to the legend that still exists to this day. Every year, Australia mourns the loss of family and loved ones nearly eighty years on, to honour those who came home, to commemorate the day when a young country heeded the desperate call to arms and a cry for help. Their sacrifice is not forgotten. While their memories live, then so does the Australian spirit: ‘doing the right thing’, mateship, courage, honour, service, laughter and freedom. These are the rocks our country’s spirit was forged upon.


ANZAC Day has been commemorated since 1916, and traditionally begins with a dawn service:
“The Dawn Service observed on ANZAC Day has its origins in an operational routine which is still observed by the Australian Army today. The half-light of dawn plays tricks with soldiers' eyes and from the earliest times the half-hour or so before dawn, with all its grey, misty shadows, became one of the most favoured times for an attack. Soldiers in defensive positions were therefore woken up in the dark, before dawn, so that by the time the first dull grey light crept across the battlefield they were awake, alert and manning their weapons. This was, and still is, known as "Stand-to". It was also repeated at sunset.
After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or dawn ceremony became a common form of ANZAC Day remembrance during the 1920s; the first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927. Dawn services were originally very simple and followed the operational ritual; in many cases they were restricted to veterans only. The daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers, the dawn service was for old soldiers to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a special bond. Before dawn the gathered veterans would be ordered to "stand to" and two minutes of silence would follow. At the end of this time a lone bugler would play the "Last Post" and then concluded the service with "Reveille". In more recent times the families and young people have been encouraged to take part in dawn services, and services in Australian capital cities have seen some of the largest turnouts ever. Reflecting this change, the ceremonies have become more elaborate, incorporating hymns, readings, pipers and rifle volleys. Others, though, have retained the simple format of the dawn stand-to, familiar to so many soldiers.”

Excerpt from the archives of The Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.


…They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
From: ‘For The Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, 1914

Poppies placed by descendants and families of loved ones lost during WWI and all succeeding conflicts, where their names are engraved on the Roll of Honour, in the Hall of Memory, at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia.

LEST WE FORGET

Marianne

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