Today marks 100 years since the start of the Gallipoli campaign. It’s now generally recognized that there were massive mistakes made, but we gather at cenotaphs all over New Zealand and Australia to mark the sacrifices of the young men who left their homes and families, traveled to the other side of the world and fought for King & Country.
I personally don’t have memories of any family members who fought in WWI but both my grandfathers were present in WWII. Pa was a driver; while not on the front line fighting his war must have been horrific. Grandad McLean was a sapper who was present at El Alamein & acted as his troupes medic. Grandad came home on the hospital ship “Oranje” which left port in July 1945. Grandad wrote prolifically while overseas and then revised everything when he got home (removing the redacted words) so his diaries are very complete.
Today I miss my grandparents & wish that I could have shared then with my children.
If you want to know more about the ANZAC tradition, take a look here: http://www.anzac.govt.nz/significance/index.html
To the men & women serving my country today, thank you.