Friday, April 25, 2014

ANZAC

G'day all!

Another Anzac Day has come and almost gone.  I can't believe it is almost May - no wonder the weather keeps pretending to be nice every now and then!

Does anyone here not know about Anzac Day?  Aussies and Kiwis (and peoples from the islands surrounding us) do, of course - have a look at the letters in ANZAC.  Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.  Really, the corps is misspelt.  It should be corpse, because that is what Anzac Day commemorates, the day that thousands of young Commonwealth men stormed the coves around Gallipoli in what is now called Turkey.  Why?  Because it was part of a push to ensure that the Black Sea remained open to Russia (then an ally of Britain) and then capture Constantinople and thereby ensure the Ottomans (now Turks) did not back up the Germans.

Well, it was an unmitigated disaster.  I won't go any further, but many thousands of men died (on both sides) for very little gain by the Allies.  If you can, look up the movie "Gallipoli" and watch it.  It isn't perfectly historical but it has some degree of truth in it. Look up the Gallipoli Campaign on Wikipedia and weep for the dead, sacrificed to the Empire's ambition.

My Pop was an ANZAC.  He fought at Gallipoli and the Somme.  I've talked about this before.  I could imagine him gallivanting around like the guys in "Gallipoli" but he wouldn't talk about the war itself.  Like many other survivors,  he came home shellshocked (aka PTSD) and half the man he had been, fairly much literally - he had been gassed several times, he was full of shrapnel, bits of him were missing...

Over the years, I've come to realise that I am a pacifist.  I would prefer that we didn't sacrifice men and women on the altar of war or on "peace keeping" missions, but I understand why we do that.  I understand that some pay a hefty price to protect others and I am grateful for their sacrifice of limbs, body parts, sanity and life.  I watch the tense situation in Ukraine - will it be the centre of the next war?  How many will die in the name of freedom, whether that freedom be a Ukrainian nation or a Russian protectorate?  I've been talking to someone who effectively says the price of freedom, peace and love is being armed to the teeth and willing to fight for that freedom peace and love if outside sources attack it, and I guess like many of us, I've outsourced the fighting.  (They would also say that I'm not actually free but eh, this is good enough for me!)

In the meantime, I keep plugging away, working, crafting, appreciating the improving (well mostly improving) weather and the wonderful flowers that are blooming.  I'm trying to grow Flanders poppies (from the Somme, not Gallipoli) in the front yard but they are only the teensiest, weeniest seedlings yet.  I usually grow them in spring in Australia for Remembrance Day (11 November) but spring is at the wrong time of year in the States! 

Rosemary for remembrance is more appropriate but I don't have any, yet.  I can get some any time - a friend has a massive shrub and I can pluck whatever I like of it.  Rosemary takes root easily, so soon I could have lots and lots of rosemary, and always remember.

Pretend these are fields of poppies, not tulips,
in Flanders, not the Skagit Valley...


I grow the poppies lest we forget.

anon!

1 comment:

  1. Make Quilts Not War! Phil's grandfather was an ANZAC at Gallipoli too, he might have been running around with your grandfather.

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