Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Anzac Day

Today is Anzac Day in New Zealand.  I have blogged about it previously in 2008 and 2009.  Pauline wrote a poignant post today which shows things from an Australian New Zealander's viewpoint.  Remembrance Day on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is not Poppy Day in New Zealand.  Today is.

Martin was up at 5.15 to go to the Dawn Parade in Napier.  More and more people go each year.

I find that quite surprising given the fact that the day it commemorates - the day when Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand  Army Corps) landed in Gallipolli and the Gallipolli Campaign commenced - is almost 100 years ago.

Someone remarked to me today that she didn't need a 'Day' to remember those who had died in the events and horrors of war.  That made me think.  I don't think of either Anzac Day nor Remembrance Day as being a commemoration of a particular day nor a particular war.  To me all war is abhorrent. 

I've blogged before on the subject of war and the 100 million or so people who lost their lives in wars during the last century. 

If Anzac Day means that the horrors of war are brought to the forefront of our minds then I think that is a Good Thing.  If it means that we concentrate on the glorification of the heroics of war then I have severe reservations.

To me all war is anathema and, on balance, I think that the more we remember that then the less likely we are to end up in another war.  I would be much more comfortable, however, if the evidence of the past backed up that feeling and that hope.


  1. Yes. And no. Glory no, gory yes.

    I've just been listening to the words on radio of the photo-reporter who escaped (with injuries) from the journalist safe house bombing (February) in Homs.

    He wants to go back because he wants to bring the realities of war to 'make a difference'. I am in two minds about the role of media too...

    1. It seems to me, Katherine, that the fact that war is shown live on television turn it into something we can just switch off if we don't like what we see. Contrary to expectations and intentions we are not involved. There is so much violence in films that the reality becomes another film. Children watch and play war games and then watch the news and it becomes another war game. A bomb exploding a building doesn't show us the blood and gore of real people. I recall seeing some of the atrocities of the Bosnia conflict and they made a very lasting impression on me. It's difficult not to be affected by a person crucified on his own front door: that will go to my grave with me.

  2. I have never been able to understand the glorification of war heroes and the high importance placed on victories of wars. Great post Graham!