Wednesday, 25 April 2012


It is April 25, ANZAC day in Australia today.  The Australian version of Remembrance Day; a sober reflection of the sacrifices made by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).  

Australia takes ANZAC day VERY VERY seriously with dawn services at the Shrine of Remembrance attended by thousands (35,000 in a drenching rain this morning), and parades and events throughout the city.  J's class has been marking ANZAC day all week with assemblies and relevant curriculum. 

Today, the two of us made batches of the ubiquitous and very popular ANZAC biscuit.  He is writing an information report about the meaning of ANZAC day and the Battle of Gallipoli. 

In addition, he had to read this poem and write a reflection of what it meant to him.  My grandfather fought at Flanders in Belgium and I am always sobered when I read this haunting rumination by Canadian soldier John McCrae.  It matters to me that Australia believes so strongly in commemorating those that fell and those who served, and it matters to me equally that they pass on those heartfelt sentiments to J's generation lest they forget.

In Flanders fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872–1918)


Jen said...

I too think it great that Aus takes this day so seriously and that they continue to teach new generations about the wars. I'm reading the Magic Treehouse series to Nate and we just read about the US Civil War and now we're on the American Revolution...some heady lessons to learn indeed.

Debs H said...

"we will remember them"

It is always good to see the younger generations being educated on such important history lessons. By the way what is the story behind the Anzac biscuits? What are they made of?