I was trying to write something about this, but the words could not capture the shiver I get inside, the incipient tears trembling on the verge of falling when I say these words:
“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.” ~ Laurence Binyon
Although those words were written back in 1914, specifically about WW1, they mean more to me than that. For over a decade, as my first employment, I worked with the Defence Department. I worked alongside friends and colleagues who might one day be encapsulated by those words. I remember the worry that I felt at the thought someone I knew might have to go to war, and that stays with me to this day. I have a stepson in the Navy, and I worry quietly, for his wife, for his son, for his mother and his sisters, for myself, but mostly for him. I want him to grow old, I want us all to grow old.
I try to imagine what it must have been like for those who did not get a chance to grow old, but I cannot. I try to imagine what it must have been like for their loved ones who got that news, and I do somewhat as my husband died at 42, but he died surrounded by those he loved, not far away amidst a war. I live in a country that is not at war. I cannot imagine the suffering that they endured, that others still endure now in many, many parts of the world.
All I can do is repeat those words, with compassion, with honour, with honest respect and love, and let the tears fall.
From light into darkness
may they find the light again
a place of comfort and of happiness
where peace reigns
It’s ANZAC Day here, for us Aussies and Kiwis it is a special day when we remember those lost at Gallipoli. My Grandfather was in the war, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t at Gallipoli, but I have his medals and they do mean something to me.
I don’t know what he saw, did or endured through the war, but his medals remind me that no matter what your views may be, we should respect those who serve their country, and that we (Australia) ARE a lucky country.
If you are not familiar with the song “And the Band played Waltzing Matilda” written by Eric Bogle, please, if you can, take the time to listen to it (there are lots of versions on youtube, but sadly I can’t find my favourite commercial release of it). It always brings chills to me and never fails to make me cry. I know a lot of people will be listening or singing today, me included.
You fought, killed and died
far away from your home
in the sand, blood and mud
with your mates, and alone
the least I can do
on this ANZAC day
is stop and remember
honoured ANZACS, G’day
© ceenoa 25/4/2014