Poems and Stories
Dear New Zealand media and the general public, it's time for an ANZAC Day education. Below is a list of things that current, and former members, of the Australian and New Zealand Defence Force would like to point out prior to ANZAC Day:
1. ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign of WWI. ANZAC is an acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. It’s written as ANZAC, not Anzac.
2. Each year on the 25th of April we reflect on all Defence Force personnel, past and present, and the sacrifices they’ve made. It is a solemn day, please treat it as such.
3. ANZAC Day is one of Australia and New Zealand's most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI.
4. Traditionally, Rosemary is worn on ANZAC Day. Rosemary is found growing wild on the Gallipoli peninsula. That’s why it’s significant.
5. The RED Poppy symbolises peace, death and sleep of the fallen servicemen/woman. While the PURPLE Poppy represents remembrance of the animal victims of war. The ORANGE Poppy represents the acknowledgement of the Service families, and also acknowledges the families’ loss due to veteran suicide. The WHITE Poppy worn between 1918 - 1939 symbolises the wearers’ commitment to peace. Learn the difference!
6. We commemorate ANZAC Day, not celebrate it. It's not a crate day party.
7. At dawn on the 25th of April 1915, soldiers rowed ashore in boats called ‘lighters’ during the Gallipoli landings, under fire and without outboards motors.
8. It's a bugle, not a trumpet. The Last Post is sounded, not played.
9. Not every serviceman/woman were 'soldiers'. Some were Sailors and Airmen. Please take the time to ascertain what Service they served in, and use the correct terminology. It means a hell of a lot to us!!!
10. They’re medals, not badges. They’re citations, not pins. Please learn the difference.
11. Medal recipients wear their medals on the left side of their chest covering their heart; family members/descendants of those gone before them wear the medals on the right side of their chest.
12. No, I am not wearing my father’s or grandfather’s medals over my heart, they are mine. I earned them during my Service.
13. Medals, ribbons and Unit Citations are EARNED, not WON. They are not sold off the shelf at some military store. They are awarded to the recipient, not given to them.
14. Yes, I am allowed to wear my 'Return From Active Service' badge on any day of the year that I choose to wear it. Get over it. And no, it’s not a bloody Medal.
15. Australian and New Zealand soldiers did not retreat from Gallipoli, they withdrew.
16. It really doesn't matter which side you wear your Poppy on, as long as it's worn with pride. Traditionally, men on the left breast and women on the right breast.
17. Please, don't try to draw comparisons between sports players and war veterans. I've never seen a sports player perform acts of heroism whilst under fire, to protect their fellow Service personnel, flag and Country.
18. Having a few drinks, playing ‘2 up’ or having rum in your coffee is an ANZAC Day tradition. Getting shit faced, picking fights and acting like a bloody idiot isn’t.
19. 'Lest We Forget' isn't a throwaway line, it actually has meaning: it's an expression of remembrance, par excellence. It has dignified origins, a rich history. Don’t misuse or disrespect it.
20. The 'Ode' comes from the poem "For the Fallen", written by Laurence Binyon. The verse, which is commonly known as 'The Ode Of Remembrance', is as follows:
"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."
Lest We Forget.
Powerful.. Joshua Dyer (aged 14) was tasked
at school to write a poem for Remembrance Day.
An hour later (without any help) he produced this..
ONE THOUSAND MEN ARE WALKING
One thousand men are walking
Walking side by side
Singing songs from home
The spirit as their guide
they walk toward the light milord
they walk towards the sun
they smoke and laugh and smile together
no foes to outrun
these men live on forever
in the hearts of those they saved
a nation truly grateful
for the path of peace they paved
they march as friends and comrades
but they do not march for war
step closer to salvation
a tranquil steady corps
the meadows lit with golden beams
a beacon for the brave
the emerald grass untrampled
a reward for what they gave
they dream of those they left behind
and know they dream of them
forever in those poppy fields
there walks one thousand men
Joshua Dyer 2019 (aged 14)
Lest we forget