ANZAC DAY 25 APRIL 2016
THIS DEDICATION IS MY WAY OF SAYING THANK YOU
ALL WHO SERVE,
ALL WHO HAVE SERVED,
BE THEY REGULAR OR RESERVISTS.
OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE FALLEN.
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN,
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM
"LEST WE FORGET"
LET IT ALSO SERVE AS A REMINDER THAT WE ARE FREE,
ONLY BECAUSE OF THE SUPREME SACRIFICES OF OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN.
Freedom is not free, it is paid for in blood.
IMAGES FROM THE 2016 DAWN SERVICE
PHILLIP ISLAND IN VICTORIA
ANZAC DAY APRIL 25 2015
The Heart Wrenching Story Behind The Symbol Honouring Our Fallen Soldiers
The Red Poppy
We all know that the poppy is the lasting symbol honouring our fallen soldiers, most commonly associated with Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day, but do many of us know why?
Poppies are known to germinate well on ground made rugged by digging, constant earth movement, and disturbance. So it's fair to say that fields which had been bombed and dug up to form bunkers would prove to be the ideal breeding ground for the humble poppy.
Despite its delicacy, its red flowers were widely seen in battlegrounds in Europe following the Napoleonic wars. However, it was almost exactly 100 years ago this year that the poppy became immortalised as the symbol of warfare, and more specifically, in remembering our fallen. In May of 1915, a Canadian soldier named John McCrae watched the funeral of one of his men who died during the second battle of Ypres, in Belgium. During the funeral, he wrote a poem in pencil, about the flourishing of the poppies on the battlefields of Flanders. Although he was apparently not happy with the way the poem read and threw it away, it was retrieved and published by Punch magazine in December of that year.
The poem, named In Flanders Field, struck a chord with an American woman named Moine Michael, who wrote a reply to the poem, and was determined to have the poppy recognised as a reminder to those who fought during the Great War. She first wore a hand-made poppy at a YWCA conference in 1918 and handed out poppies to other attendees. Her cause was later taken up by a Frenchwoman, Anna Guerin, who in 1921 encouraged wounded soldiers, widows, and orphans to make and sell poppies, the proceeds to go to orphanages and to veterans. Guerin's campaign to raise money extended to those countries which had fought alongside France during the war.
Hand made poppies were first sent by ship to Australia and New Zealand, aimed to be sold on Armistice Day, 11 November 1921. However the ship to New Zealand did not make it in time, and a decision was made to sell the poppies in the following April, to coincide with ANZAC Day. Poppies are now synonymous with both days and are sold by and on behalf of veterans' associations in both countries.
Over 60,000 Australians died in the First World War, with the Gallipoli campaign claiming close to 9000 of those men. The 100th anniversary of the start of that ill-fated campaign will be remembered on 25 April, where a display of over 100,000 handcrafted poppies will be opened in Melbourne. These poppies were made from silk, paper, felt, or crocheted by volunteers across Australia.
Today the poppy is the most widely recognised symbol to soldiers around the world. The poppy itself is a spring flower, not for sale here in April. However, its place in our history has been entrenched, for want of a better word, by a man who saw his fallen comrade laid to rest surrounded by these blood red flowers.
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 our foe
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold up high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Images from the 2015 Dawn Service
Phillip Island in Victoria
After the Ceremonies are over, time for the Traditional Gunfire Breakfast
Images from the 2013 Dawn Service
Phillip Island in Victoria
Lest we Forget
by Blair Stuart on Tuesday, March 10 2013
I received this by Email from a friend, it is appropriate to post it today of all days, but its message should be a reminder to us all, each and every day, as to how we have come to enjoy the lifestyle that we all so readily take for granted.
Freedom comes at a price and we should bow our heads and thank those who have and
those who still are shedding their
so that we can remain a
Last week I was in Melbourne attending a conference.
While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer.
I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.
Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.
When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red blooded Australian who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal.
Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers.
He knelt down and said 'hi,' the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.
The young soldier didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy.
Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.
The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 5 months now.
As the mum was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.
When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second.
Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie.
They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.
After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, 'I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.'
He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a Kiss on the cheek.
He finished by saying 'Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.'
The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum.
I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded.
As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause.
As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own.
That young soldier in one last act of moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.
We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices.
At the end of the day, it's good to be an Australian.
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday.
Australian's who support our troops used to be called the 'silent majority'.
We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for Country and home in record breaking numbers.
We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing.
We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions.
Many Australian's, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of Australia supports our troops.
Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every Australian who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make Australia on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football team
If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family, It will not be long before Australia is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once 'silent' majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked 'What can we do to make things better for you?' is...'We need your support and your prayers'.
Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.
IF YOU AGREE -- PASTE THIS ON YOUR PAGE or SOCIAL MEDIA
IF YOU COULD NOT CARE LESS THEN DO NOTHING!
IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED---- SO WEAR RED!
Lest we Forget.
All content, images and rights therein, including copyright (c) 2015 are reserved and remain the sole and exclusive property of
Blair J. Stuart and Stuart Media Services.
Blair J. Stuart and Stuart Media Services.