Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anzac Day

This Saturday, the 25th April is Anzac Day. It is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand and is a day to commemorate the Australian and New Zealand Army Core (ANZAC). Its used as a day to remember all the Australians and New Zealanders who have been killed in conflict.
It originally became a national holiday after the Galliopli landings in the first World War when the ANZAC forces landed and fought against Turkish forces in an attempt by Churchill to knock Turkey out of the war. Over 8000 Australian and 2700 New Zealand soldiers died. This tragedy has obviously had a big impact on a country that is geographically a long way from the bulk of the fighting and in 1914 only had a total population of 1 million. There are memorials dotted all over Wellington dedicated to the many men and women that travelled such a long way to fight in both World Wars.

This national holiday is taken very seriously and there are many memorial services taking place and many of the shops are either shut or not opening at all. I like the respect this holiday is shown and the fact that the sacrifices that previous generations made on our behalf are not forgotten.

I have attempted to explain the significance of poppies to my two daughters but I don't think they are taking me seriously yet. The oldest one knows that her great grandad went on a boat to fight some bad men a long time ago - but that's about the extent of what she can understand at the moment.

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