25 April 2011

ANZAC Day from a present day point of view

Greetings all,
It's fantastic to see crowds at marches & blog posts celebrating ANZAC Day.  I grew up in a military family, including iconic Light Horsemen at Gallipoli, yet they never marched or made a big deal about ANZAC Day.  My father is a very open, warm & friendly gentleman, yet has never spoken about the Korean or Vietnam Wars.  In turn, we children have unspokenly respected it & only asked about all the other adventures of his 32 year career in the Navy.
My children have questioned Grandad if he was a pirate sailing the high seas & admire his medals & memorabilia, including photos with Queen Elizabeth & launching new ships into the fleet.  By coincidence or just a matter of the WW2 generation, my brothers' wives & sister's husband are all children of servicemen too - Greek/ Australian; Austrian & French.  We have a family story of when my eldest nephew was in Kindergarten & took his 'other' Grandfather's medals to school for ANZAC Day, only to be told "that Grandfather was on the wrong team".  I guess the Iron Cross stood out against the Pacific Stars which his class mates brought in.       
You'll find most people remembering/ discussing/ celebrating on this day - the humour, the mateship & the courage they sought to get through war . . . dealing with the horror, the waste & the pain of their experience in a personal private way.  ANZAC Day is a good prompt to show them we appreciate their sacrifices & we're proud.   
 The ANZAC Day commentators say "remember there are still current service men & women deployed to war zones right now" as they talk about all the history of each unit marching.  Why yes, i don't need a reminder thank you.  This is how my husband spent last ANZAC Day, a simple but extremely meaningful ceremony in Afghanistan.
 This ANZAC Day handsome soldier is with us, snuggled up on the lounge, belly filled with Easter eggs & watching family movies, then an afternoon swim with Army friends.  Last year he was in a gun pit overlooking the Chora Valley.
I was uncertain about putting this last image in - as a housewife, mother, lover of all things homemade, crafty, pretty, girlie & nice (read: opposite to battle, guns & war) - this is not how i think of my loving husband & father of our 4 kind hearted children, who plaits hair, plays games, bakes cheesecakes & sneezes around flowers.  Your husbands might be interested - i know my brothers find his line of work & equipment fascinating.  Alas this is what he looks like, a pistol where his wallet should be, a beard (icky), in the desert for 8 month tours.  Today, soldiers have amazing equipment, body armour, resources, technology, support, therapy, education, medical treatment & training . . . war is still war . . . there are decisions, ethics, relationships & cultural factors i could never imagine & we still need a Defence Force.  Love Posie


Actually Amy said...

Well said Posie!

Felicity said...

Thank you for all that you've shared here Posie.

Learning more about your life over the past months, I have gained a deeper appreciation and understanding for the many ways that the families of our service men and women sacrifice to enable them to defend the freedoms that we often take for granted.

You obviously have a strong lineage of people who have given their wisdom, energy and lives to help make Australia the wonderful place that it is.

Thank you to you, your hubby and your family of gorgeous children for all that you do, I remembered you this morning and said a prayer of thanks at the Dawn Service.

xx Felicity

Sue said...

I love your thoughtful reflections - I had a grandfather in the Merchant Navy WW1, father in PNG WW2 and older brother in Malaya and Vietnam. They also never talk about it, rarely march in the big parades but do their local community marches, although my brother did march in the big finally welcome home march they did for Vietnam vets a few years ago. My dad pulls out his dads medals every now and then to show the grandkids.
One year I want to be at that dawn service in Turkey at ANZAC cove to see what my grandfather who I never knew saw and was part of because although they never talk the ANZAC spirit was instilled into me as I grew up

Becky said...

Wonderful post Posie, including the last photo.

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

A timely reminder, thanks to families like your own of the freedom we have today.
Glad your handosme soldoer is snuggled up with you too - must be a special Easter & Anzac day :)

PS Have you entered my three giveways over $600 in prizes to be won.

Unknown said...

Wow that's an amazing post Posie! Thank you for sharing about your family's military history and it was really interesting seeing the pic of your hubby in the middle of it all. I'm so glad that we celebrate and remember all those that have and continue to sacrifice for our country and our amazing way of life. Give your hubby a huge big thank you from us! Jxx

trash said...

Beautiful post Posie. As a nation and as individuals we have become so much more aware of our history and the role we have played in world developments.

As the sister, niece and grand daughter of military men I too take the oppotunity to be grateful to and for our armed forces.

trash said...

Unsure of the title of 'WhipUp's' post.

Catherine said...

You've written this post with lots of thought, devotion and understanding. Thank you to your husband and to you and your family for allowing us to live with the freedom to live peaceful lives. xo

Bron said...

Thanks for sharing and happy family time to you all.

Naturally Carol said...

I bet it was wonderful to have him home and safe this year! We appreciate him and all his mates who are out doing their duty whereever they may be today. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your story Posie....I can't imagine what a military family may be like but it sounds like Easter day this year was spent perfectly because everyone was home to share it.
Love Lou x

deux chiens et un garcon said...

Dear Posie
I love your firm but loving ways. I am humbled by the sacrifice that your husband and many others continue to make.
Have a lovely week.
xo jill

All For Love said...

Wow Posie, I find this post inspiring, heart warming and eye opening, all at once.
I love that you have shared both sides of your lovely soldier husband here. I can imagine how confronting that last pic must be for you... but it must also fill you with pride.
My father served for a total of 5 years in the army & commandos, many years ago and has a strong belief that all young men and women should serve military time for their country. He is from the old school of thought, however and I am glad that people in Australia have the choice, rather than being told they MUST do this.
I have the utmost respect for all our current and ex service men/women... and of course, the partners/families who stand by them :o)

Nic said...

This is such a great post - thank you for sharing that with us :) Being a Londoner, my family was very much embroiled in WW2. My grandmother used to tell fascinating stories of life working in central London during the Blitz. Both my grandfathers and all my great-uncles were conscripted and served around the world; in France, Greece, India and North Africa. My grandfather lost his youngest brother at just 21 years old; he was a navigator on a Lancaster bomber and was shot down over Europe. He grave is in France. A little fact that very few people over here would know about me...I spent a year in the Army Reserves in the UK when I was 17/18 and came *very* close to joining the regular Army after passing officer selection, but changed my mind in the end. I kid you not.

NessaKnits said...

Lest We Forget for all the men and women who have served this country and the families they left behind.

The Provincial Homemaker said...

Great post Posie. HOpe you had a nice day with your hubby.

Maxabella said...

I thought of you yesterday, Posie. And my other dear friend whose husband is in the Navy. Of your darling children and your commitment to the service that your husband's give. There is much to remind us that Lest we Forget should not be forgotten!! x

Chantal said...

It's been a crazy few months Posie. I'm so glad you stopped by for a comment as I had been thinking of you and your family yesterday. I am so overwhelmingly behind on catchups and reading blogs I love but I am really happy that of all the times to make it back here it is to read your ANZAC day post. Thank you to your husband for serving our country as he does. I think it's remarkable that he seems to balance his life so well (although no doubt you and your kids play largely in his ability to do this). Hope you've enjoyed a Happy Easter. Chantal xo.

Stacey said...

A lovely post, Posie.
My Dad is an ex serviceman (Vietnam) and it is something he rarely talks about. He quite openly admits that his time in the army was the best time of his life, yet his time in Vietnam is hardly ever mentioned. I don't think it is because of any trauma or things that happened when he got home, he just doesn't talk about it.
My husband has (or rather had) a German grandmother and we've often thought how this would have meant cousins being on different sides during the war. A sad thought I think.
It is a huge sacrifice that you and your family make for our country. Felicity has said it very nicely.

brismod said...

The iron cross story made me laugh. It's a reminder that sacrifices were made on both sides, no matter what team you were on. There are really no winners in war.

Glad to hear your hubby could be with you this Easter. xx

Unknown said...

Nothing more to say I reckon Posie.

We are all so grateful FOR you that your hubby is home safe and sound with the people who love him and need him. I dare say we are also grateful that there are men (and women) still prepared to put their lives on the line for our country, and as we know from the most recent years, for other peoples countries. Whether we agree or not, they are there at our country's command. It is their job, but it doesn't make it any easier for the families back home!