Thursday 25th April, 2019
ANZAC Day – the Ode
“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.”
The Ode comes from the poem “For the Fallen”.
The poem was written by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon.
“For the Fallen” was first published in London in the Winnowing Fan; Poems of the Great War in 1914.
The verse, which became the League Ode, was already used in association with commemoration services in Australia in 1921.
ANZAC DAY 2019
This time last year, I was in Townsville, Queensland.
It’s important to realize that Townsville is *very* much a military town.
It hosts Lavarak Barracks and a large RAAF Base.
I attended the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, had a Gunfire Breakfast, and watched the ANZAC Day Parade.
It has been many years since I have attended an ANZAC Day Service.
As I have mentioned before, I have many friends and family members who have served, or are serving.
Attending Dawn Service or other commemorative services are always a mixed experience for me personally.
I abhor war and conflict.
However, I have a deep respect for those that serve.
Every ANZAC Day, there are less of the old Diggers marching.
I did have an unexpected emotional reaction to witnessing young soldiers marching, with medals already upon their chests.
This year, I am marking this day in my own way at home.
ANZAC Day, to me, has a very Samhain aspect.
It has become the start of my Samhain commemorations every year.
But for today:
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Helen Gilmour says
A very thoughtful post. I also have mixed feelings about Anzac Day having lost a parent to the horrors of the atomic testing exposure during service and watched my maternal grandfather struggle with the after effects of serving at Gallipoli Cove.. As the mother of two sons I have no desire for wars but as a Pagan I acknowledge the deep darkness in the human psyche and recognize the necessity for warriors to preserve elements of culture and peace. I always think back to that famous quote from the medieval times: ” Nobody loves a warrior until the enemy is at the gates” . One does not choose to be an enemy, it is beyond one’s control as it is externally defined by others and forced upon one. To ignore that dark fact is to put at peril all one holds dear.
Very well put, Helen.
I love that warrior quote, and what you said about being an enemy is insightful.
I cannot imagine how the concept / threat of war must feel as a parent.
I have watched the toll myself upon family members, friends, colleagues, and lovers. It’s truly life changing trauma, that echoes through generations.
I appreciate your thoughts on that “deep darkness in the human psyche and recognize the necessity for warriors to preserve elements of culture and peace.”
It’s something I have given s lot of thought to, and I do believe the day we can truly leave warfare behind is the day we will have evolved past what we currently are.
That conflict / warfare model is so deeply embedded on so many levels; even the way we talk about health, business, gardening, sport, love.
I have been re-examining my language use, and it’s a bit disturbing how much of a common thread it is linguistically!