Normally, I’d be at the office today. Instead, I’m at the dining table & Mase is at the breakfast bar, working on his Passion Project which has to be handed in at 3pm today (he’s chosen to learn about Mull, as this is where my maternal clan came from). We’re already missing the Dawn Service and it’s only the 24th.
HISTORY: from https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/anzac-day/introduction
The date marks the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles and open a sea route to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Ottoman Turkish defenders.
Thousands lost their lives during the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Ottoman Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians. To this day, Australia also marks the events of 25 April. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about one in six of those who served on Gallipoli.
They may have ended in military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings signalled that New Zealand was becoming a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.
Anzac Day was first observed in 1916. The day has gone through many changes since. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, and in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, are modelled on a military funeral and remain rich in tradition and ritual.
TOMORROW: instead of joining thousands of others in the pre-dawn dark at Auckland War Memorial Museum, we’ll be out at our driveway, one of us holding the cellphone listening to the radio transmit the service. From the Last Post to the Prayers, we’ll be remembering the sacrifice of those brave men and women (and animals!) who won freedom. It won’t be our expected tradition, but we will still be able to join in gratitude.
Please join in.