Today is Anzac Day.
In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy came
from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground.
Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Although the Battle of Gallipoli was a failure with a massive cost in human life and suffering, the courage and bravery of those who fought there continues to be honoured on this day of national remembrance.
It has been broadened to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
There is no doubt that the human cost of war is horrific. All involved are impacted in one way or another. Some die. Some are maimed. Some recover. Some do not. Some suicide.
I watched and listened as my father fought against post-war trauma all his life. Back then, as a very young WW2 veteran, there was no understanding of the impact war had on the lives of the soldiers, let alone any kind of treatment.
We honour and respect those who fight for our freedoms and rights. I look forward to the day when there will be no more need for war.
© Raili Tanska