Friday, April 24, 2009

Preparing to leave again ...

I'm preparing for ANZAC Day commemorations on Flanders Fields, cleaning and packing as I move through this bright sunshiny day.

There's something quite poignant stopping to remember the young men who died believing they were fighting to save the world. How disappointed they would be now.

In the beginning, the New Zealanders and Aussies were adventurers I think, much more than they were serious soldiers ... guys who never imagined they might die on a muddy field in this flat land known as Belgium. It was sold to the kiwi boys as signing up to travel to the world and my grandad did. He fought in Turkey, he saw Egypt, he fought and was injured on the Somme in France - his horse died shielding him from the shrapnel that injured him, and then the Otago Mounted Rifles came to Belgium.

In the quiet of past ceremonies on Flanders Fields I've imagined those who died lounging about watching us, still in their khaki uniforms, smoking and smiling perhaps as we remember them. It always brings tears to my eyes because they were everyman... just like us and I'm sure that none imagined they would die out there, so far from home, in that mad mad war.

And maybe I'll stop for another moment while I'm there and remember the 1,487 Palestinian children who been killed since the year 2000 and the 6,348 Palestinian adults.

And a poppy for Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahme, the Palestine recently murdered during a peaceful protest ... it's all war, isn't it?

Nothing changes.


paris parfait said...

Very touching post, Di. Looking forward to seeing your photos of this important occasion. xo

furiousBall said...

remembrance is always a challenge and your consideration to give pause to something near and dear to your heart is exactly what many do at funerals, you consider your own mortality or those closest to you.

Barbara said...

My thoughts are with you ...

Di Mackey said...

Hi Tara, I had no internet to speak of in Ieper and the story of ANZAC day is one that needs unravelled from everything else that we did and saw. It was a beautiful occasion though.

Thanks Van, you're right.

Thanks Barbara.