This Friday, April 25th, we will be commemorating Anzac Day , which, in many respects, may be more widely and generously honoured in New Zealand than our national day, Waitangi Day.
Looking back through my blog posts, I see that I have made Anzac or Gallipoli references in at least 8 of my posts and zero references to Waitangi Day, which, although a tad shameful on my part, would be representative of how large the events of Anzac Day loom in the general psyche of our nation.
Be that as it may, here is my small tribute to Anzac Day; a trio of resting places.
1. For the Sons of Gallipoli
2.For Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham, probably New Zealand’s most famous soldier, who was “Modest and selfless,… and…. keenly aware of the sacrifices his generation had made to ensure that New Zealanders could live, as he put it, ‘in peace and plenty’.” http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5u2/upham-charles-hazlitt
If you could spare one minute and 56 secs, I would highly recommend a listen to the wonderful message by Charles Upham, following the award of his Victoria Cross in 1941. His selflessness and concern for others are evident. I especially like the way he ends his speech with a very New Zealand, Kia Ora. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/speech/54/charles-upham-discussing-his-1941-victoria-cross-award
3. For many nations at the Commonwealth War Cemetery ,El Alamein, Egypt. ( My son inspects “the guard of honour”.)
A final note on a great project:
“An ambitious project will be launched on Anzac Day to photograph all surviving World War II veterans.
The Veteran Portrait Project is being run by the Institute of Professional Photographers in conjunction with the RSA.
There are about three thousand WWII veterans still alive, all now in their late 80′s, 90′s and a few over a hundred.The aim is to photograph as many as possible on Anzac Day, wearing their medals down at their local RSA.”