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ANZAC Day

April 23, 2018

Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders.

Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 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 a sixth of those who served on Gallipoli.

It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as 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 marked in 1916. The day has gone through many changes since then. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, remain rich in tradition and ritual befitting a military funeral.

THE CEREMONY
The Anzac Day ceremony of 25 April is rich in tradition and ritual. It is a form of military funeral and follows a particular pattern. The day’s ceremonies have two major parts: one at dawn and another, more public event, later in the morning.

A typical commemoration begins with a march by returned service personnel before dawn to the local war memorial. Military personnel and returned servicemen and women form up about the memorial, joined by other members of the community. Pride of place goes to war veterans.

A short service follows with a prayer, hymns (including Kipling’s ‘Recessional’ or ‘Lest we forget’) and a dedication that concludes with the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen:

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 last post is then played, and this is followed by a minute’s silence and the reveille. A brief address follows, after which the hymn ‘Recessional’ is sung. The service concludes with a prayer and the singing of the national anthem.

The Anzac parade
Another ceremony takes place later on the morning of 25 April. Returned service personnel wear their medals and march behind banners and standards. The veterans are joined by other community groups, including members of the armed forces, the Red Cross, cadets, and veterans of other countries’ forces.

The march proceeds to the local war memorial. Another service takes place there, and various organisations and members of the public lay wreaths. This service is a more public commemoration than the dawn service. It is less intimate and less emotional. The speech, usually by a dignitary, serviceman or returned serviceman or woman, can stress nationhood and remembrance.

After these services many of the veterans retire to the local Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) club or hotel, where they enjoy coffee and rum (in the case of the dawn service) and unwind after an emotionally and, for elderly veterans, physically exhausting event. At the end of the day, the ceremony of the retreat is performed.

THE POPPY
The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. People in many countries wear the poppy to remember those who died in war or who still serve. In many countries, the poppy is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day, 25 April.

The red or Flanders poppy has been linked with battlefield deaths since the time of the Great War (1914–18). The plant was one of the first to grow and bloom in the mud and soil of Flanders. The connection was made, most famously, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in his poem ‘In Flanders fields’.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

McCrae was a Canadian medical officer who, in May 1915, had conducted the funeral service of a friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres (Ieper). Distressed at the death and suffering around him, McCrae scribbled the verse in his notebook. In a cemetery nearby, red poppies blew gently in the breeze – a symbol of regeneration and growth in a landscape of blood and destruction.

McCrae threw away the poem, but a fellow officer rescued it and sent it on to the English magazine Punch; ‘In Flanders fields’ was published on 8 December 1915. Three years later, on 28 January 1918, McCrae was dead. As he lay dying, he is reported to have said ‘Tell them this, if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep.’

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Chief Editor

About Chief Editor

My name is Shem Banbury. I am the owner and Chief Editor of Kiwi Kids News. By day I am a school teacher and by night a wannabe triathlete.

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1

I love the anzac biscuits they are so so so so yummy

i want them all the time at home

2

Anzac is cool

3

i love anzac biscuits

4

Fallen soldiers, I salute you.

5

I leart that the red poppy is a symbol of war remembrance the word over and it was really sad that a lot of people died

6

LEST WE FORGET (BTW Anzac are so yummmmmmmmmmmmmmy

7

I love Anzac day so much

8

lots of people died and they never go to come home and see there family

9

I learnt a lot from it.

cool!!

10

I learnt a lot from it.
cool!!

11

I learnt quite a lot from the article like the red poppy and that so much people died. Its sad a bit that most people.

12

I learnt that the war of anzac happened at Gallipoli

13

i like the facts on the page about Anzac day :):)<3<3

14

good information for school

15

“Lest we forget.” Anzac’s who lived for us New Zealanders. I fell special. All of us should.

16

I learned that a lot of people died and the red poppy is a symbol and a supportive flower in the war.
Sad that most of the soldiers died.

17

I like all the facts on the page you could learn more about the subject you like to learn:)

18

i love the anzac biscuits they are so so so so so so so so so so so yummmmmmmmmyyyyy

19

LEST WE FORGET

20

interesting facts... nice one ....

21

I am not New Zealander ,but I am proud of ANZAC.

22

I love ANZAC. I learnt a lot about anzac in this newspaper.

23

I ;love ANZAC biscuts XD
Anzac is all about war and people dying in war.
Every year in anzac we thank our warriars with poppy flowers

24

ANZAC BISCUTS ARE SO YUMMY

25

I'm really glad that ANZAC day is a public holiday because it is important to recognise those who served our country and fought to defend our country.

26

l love anzac

27

wow ! cool I learnt a lot from it

28

Anzac day
Anzac is really fun and anzac is about world war 2 and its about staing at home and haveing dinner

29

this made bad about pepole who died in the war

30

i love ANSAC day
its really fun

31

anzac is a okay

32

it's good to know about this stuff

33

I like Anzac day #ANZACDAY

34

we will remember them

35

there is really cool facts on this page

36

Anzac is awesome