No Dream Message today but that in and of itself spoke to me of ‘forgetting’, of having no memory of the past to inform the present. Today is ANZAC Day, probably the most important national occasion in Australia that marks remembrance.
ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during World War One and commemorates all the conflicts that followed.
As with any important occasion, it is rich with tradition that many Australian and New Zealander’s participate in; including the Dawn Service, Gunfire Breakfast, Anzac Day March, the Wearing of Medals and Rosemary or a Poppy, the Laying of a wreaths, the playing of Two-Up, Drinking and Sharing stories with mates.
However, this year, ANZAC Day is being commemorated with a difference due to the banning of public gatherings due to the Global Coronavirus pandemic. ANZAC Day 2020 gives us pause for reflection of this tradition on an even deeper level.
Personally, I do not have any memories of war stories told by my two Grandfathers who both served in WWII. My Mother’s Father, Clifford Neville, served as a Squadron Leader Flying Officer from 1939 to 1945 and my Father’s Father, Cyril Kricker served as a Clerk from 1939 to 1945. Perhaps as a young girl these types of conversations were deemed unsuitable. I am sure that ANZAC Day for both of them was a time of very personal reflection and today it gives me the opportunity to pause and think about the memories I do have of each of them.
According to retired serviceman Shaun Buckney, there are many things that people don’t understand about what ANZAC Day really means to ex-service personnel because of the language used in popular media. Mr Buckney said children should be educated in school with the correct information so they don’t have to rely on media. To help educate people about ANZAC Day, Mr Buckley carefully considered and wrote a 16 point list for people to reflect on:
1. We commemorate ANZAC Day, not celebrate it. It’s not a bloody party.
2. Saturday, 25 April 2020 marks the 105th anniversary of the landing of ANZAC Soldiers, Sailors, Medical personnel and animals on Gallipoli. (altered from original text to reflect dates for this year).
3. Sailors rowed Soldiers ashore during the Gallipoli landings, under heavy fire, without outboards motors. The little boats they used are called ‘lighters’.
4. It’s a bugle, not a trumpet, and the Last Post is sounded, not played. It’s not a bloody dance tune.
5. Not every serviceman/woman was a ‘soldier’. Some were Sailors, Airmen and Nursing Sisters. Please take the time to ascertain what Service they served in, and use the correct terminology. It means a lot them/us!!!
6. No I am not wearing my father’s medals, they are mine. I earned them during Active Service while you were enjoying all the comforts that I was dreaming of.
7. They’re medals, not badges. They’re citations, not pins.
8. Please don’t try to draw comparisons between civilians and war veterans, I’ve never seen a civilian perform acts of heroism whilst under fire to protect their fellow service personnel, flag and Country.
9. Medals, ribbons and Unit Citations are EARNED, not WON. It’s not a bloody chook raffle. They are awarded to the recipient, not given to them.
10. The RED POPPY symbolises peace, death and sleep of the fallen servicemen/woman. While the PURPLE Poppy represents remembrance of the animal victims of war. Learn the difference. Traditionally, Rosemary is worn on ANZAC Day; however, the Poppy has become popular through the generations and is widely worn on both ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day Services.
11. ‘Lest We Forget’ isn’t a throwaway line, it actually has meaning: it’s an expression of remembrance, par excellence. It has dignified origins, a rich history.
12. Yes, I am allowed to wear my ‘Return From Active Service’ badge on any day of the year that I choose to wear it.
13. Australian and New Zealand soldiers didn’t retreat from Gallipoli, they withdrew.
14. It doesn’t matter which side you wear your Poppy on, as long as it’s worn with pride.
15. Medal recipients wear their medals on the left side of their chest covering their heart, family members/descendants wear the medals on the right.
16. The ‘Ode’ comes from the poem “For the Fallen”, which was written by Laurence Binyon. The verse, which is commonly known as ‘The Ode Of Rememberance’, is as follows:
“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.”
Lest We Forget
Here endeth the lesson. 
LEST WE FORGET :
Alfred Clifford Neville. Flying Officer, Squadron Leader 1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Returned from Active Service Badge.
Cyril John Henry Kricker, Clerk, Corporal, 1939-2945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Australia Service Medal 1939-1945, Returned from Active Service Badge.