Lest we forget…

The Australian Army Slouch Hat. On the turn-up is
the Australian Army Badge, or Rising Sun.
On the puggaree at front, it shows the badge of
51st Far North Queensland Regiment,
whose motto is
Ducit Amor Patriae*.

Today is ANZAC Day. All over Australia and New Zealand, in Gallipoli and northern France, at dawn today people stood – and will stand – in silence to remember and give thanks. Today, I stood with them. My great-grandfather fought in the Boer War. My grandfather fought in Flanders in the First World War. My father fought in the Second World War, landing on Sword Beach on D-Day II as a 21 year old 2nd Lieutenant. When their country asked, they stepped forward. My brother was a Reservist, as was the Husband. I come from a tradition of service, and I am proud of it. I am also fortunate, because none of those I love or who went before me were lost. So many others made the ultimate sacrifice.

To the men and women of our Armed Forces: thank you for the sacrifice you make, thank you for the freedom we take for granted, thank you for enduring the horror of war on our behalf. Thank you for showing us that mankind has its redeeming moments amidst ugliness and conflict.

To all the Diggers who have hung up their hats, we say thank you. Gone but never forgotten.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.**

Screen shot 2014-04-25 at 8.03.33 AM

*The Slouch Hat shown above is the Husband’s, and I carried it for him this morning, as he couldn’t be there. The regimental motto translates as: The love of country leads me

** Not many people know the full text of this poem, and it’s worth reading. You can find it here.

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35 thoughts on “Lest we forget…

  1. jmcheney says:

    This is a beautiful tribute, Kate. Many generations of Americans in service & civilians on the home front have admired, respected & thanked God for solidarity with the courageous Australian troops in the distinctive turned up slouch hats. You are right to be justly proud of all those brave men of your family.

    • katechiconi says:

      I count my blessings, and am grateful that my generation and the ones after it have not been called to serve. Perhaps their sacrifices will have achieved a more lasting peace.

    • katechiconi says:

      The least I can do is stand in the dark and the rain once a year for half an hour… although to be fair, it’s not always wet for ANZAC Day. All the world was there, from babes in arms to ancient veterans in wheelchairs, from the Mayor to hairy bikers in leather. It’s a pretty sacred day here…

  2. Beautiful post. Just back from our village’s dawn service. I love seeing the people of our small community come out in the foggy, pre-dawn, the respect and regard they have for those who serve and served… past and present. Now to rest up before the main service this afternoon.

    • katechiconi says:

      I love how it’s often the younger children who bring their parents out, wearing their Pops’ medals, keeping the tradition alive. And I really resent that the Husband has to work today, as it would have meant a lot to him to attend.

  3. Dayphoto says:

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post! Thank you so much for this and for being there for your husband.

    • katechiconi says:

      I stood up for him, and for my brother, my father, my grandfather and great grandfather. My father is 96. One day soon, I will no longer have any family who fought in an actual war. I know I’m lucky; there are still so many armed forces personnel out there actively engaged in combat, while their family wait anxiously for them to return home.

      • Dayphoto says:

        I have always been proud of my military family. My son, my dad, both grandfathers and uncles. I so understand your pride.

        To still have your Dad (at 96) is a huge blessing. I am so happy for you.

  4. craftycreeky says:

    A beautifully written post, my OH’s family fought in Gallipoli and he was lucky enough to get tickets for the big commemoration service in Turkey a couple of years ago, it meant a lot to him. We now have two children in the Army, so Remembrance Day is becoming increasing poignant to us.

    • katechiconi says:

      My brother in law, a police officer, was awarded a ticket to the same ceremony your OH attended, and he agrees it was very special. Congratulations on your children in the Army; ‘they also serve, who only stand and wait’ takes on extra meaning when you’re a soldier’s mum.

  5. anne54 says:

    This is a heart-felt tribute Kate. My father and Grandfather fought in WW1 and WW2, and like yours, were fortunate to return home to us. Today I am going to walk down to the Women’s Peace Garden in Kensington, sit in the sunshine and contemplate. ~Hugs~

  6. Moira says:

    Beautiful tribute to all who have served.

  7. KerryCan says:

    My goodness, you really have been fortunate, not to have lost any of your people through their service! Your post is lovely . . .

  8. Joanne S says:

    Thoughtful post, Kate. First time to read For the Fallen – very succinct and moving. What a sacrifice for home and country: “…To the innermost heart of their own land they are known As the stars are known to the Night;…”.

  9. Thank you for this wonderful post. I know so little about Australia and don’t really remember learning anything about your country in school. Connecting with you has been a real treat in so many ways 🙂 Sharon

    • katechiconi says:

      We are the other side of the planet, and perhaps don’t have much impact on the US’s interests… I find it interesting when these little windows open up in other cultures and you discover things you didn’t know, an insight into how another culture works. I’m glad you found the post interesting.

  10. Lynda says:

    Wonderful! Glad you participated to honor your family. Wish our country still had such pride for our service men and women.

    • katechiconi says:

      Gallipoli is etched indelibly on the national psyche here, and ANZAC Day stems from that. We have lost the last Gallipoli veteran, but the tradition lives on, and small children proudly march for their family heroes. Service is service, and whether you approve the cause, the sacrifice must be honoured.

      • Lynda says:

        I was in for about the last two years of the Vietnam era. Some thought it was “Cool” one blessed me out for not joining “Green Peace” or some other “worthy cause instead”. I enjoyed getting away from the only town I had ever known and being in Florida on the Gulf. It was a good experience and helped me to grow up. I never saw any action of course… 😉

      • katechiconi says:

        Good for you. I think it’s an excellent experience for the young, and wish they’d bring back National Service! That’s me being an old fogey, but it gave young people an opportunity to do something unselfish which was also character-forming.

      • Lynda says:

        BTW, I found an Australian documentary on Gallipoli with the only footage known to exist and many photographs of the time. What a mess those poor men were dumped into! I have always admired Churchill, but to commandeer those two ships they were building for the Turks, well, what response did he think he would get when he asked for their alliance? It was a mess. And yes, those men were very brave!

  11. One of the most moving poems of all time ❤

  12. Terri says:

    Such a lovely tribute – as touching today as it was in 1914.

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