Tag Archives: War

They Shall Grow Not Old

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We Will Remember Them.”
LAWRENCE BINYON 1869-1943,
English poet, dramatist and art scholar.

Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli.
Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald

April 25 in New Zealand and Australia is celebrated in remembrance of all those who have fought, suffered and died in wars. In both countries, it is a Public Holiday. Services of Remembrance are held throughout both lands. And on this day, in Gallipoli in Turkey, those brave souls who suffered and the many who died are also remembered.

During my recovering period in 2016, my number three Grandson Drew took me to an exhibition on Gallipoli. What follows is what I wrote after attending that exhibition. 

After a nasty accident that caused severe brain injury, I spent seven weeks in hospital and at ABI rehabilitation.  Now thanks to the teams at both places I’m well on the way to recovery. Back home again and ready to post on my blog.

One of the most annoying aspects is that with brain injury driving licences are suspended for six months until a doctor certifies you can drive. So currently I’m very dependent on family, friends and Driving Miss Daisy to take me around.

The entry to the exhibition

 

On Tuesday this week, my No 3 grandson Drew took me to our National Museum, Te Papa (Our Place in Maori) to see the Gallipoli Exhibition  This tells the story of the landings on April 25. 1915

On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.

For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

IMG_0700

Larger than life sized models

By the time the campaign ended, more than 130,000 men had died: at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including more than 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a sixth of all those who had landed on the peninsula.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves.

This exhibition tells the story from the standpoint of those young men.  It is incredibly detailed and we are shown where they stood their ground against an incredible army of Turks.  We see how they lived and we hear readings of letters home.

IMG_0699

 

One of the standout officers was Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone (1859-1915) , a Stratford farmer and lawyer, who commanded the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli. The Wellington Battalion landed at Anzac Cove on 25-26 April 1915. Malone soon began to impose order, transforming weak defensive positions along the Anzac perimeter into strong garrisons. Between June and August, he helped consolidate critical positions at Courtney’s Post and Quin’s Post.  Just one of many no doubt.”

What a terrible waste of so many young lives, and yet, over a century later, we continue to send our young people to war – doing the same things all over again and expecting different results. Will we never learn !

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Erratum

It’s 3am on Sunday 11 September 2016.  Waking in the night is not something I do with any regularity and today I awoke realising that I had made a mistake in yesterday’s post – Another Year On

Originally I wrote –

“On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.”

Then I chaged it to

“Of course yesterday it was 9/11 here in New Zealand, and  many of us were  thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.”

Confusion because here in New Zealand we say 11/9 and those of you in North America say 9/11.  In any event everything else in yesterday’s post still stands and today we will remember those who lost their lives, those who helped rescue some and the people whose lives were changed forever.

 

 

Another Year On

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness,
is a way to honor those we lost,
a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
President Obama in a 2011 radio address

On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.

Even though we are told that there was some indication that a major action was about to unfold, nobody could really have imagined the extent or the effect that it would have.

Here in New Zealand we watched in disbelief as the drama unfolded.  Having heard the news on the radio we switched to the television and saw the events as they happened. We saw the unforgettable images of the planes flying into the tower, the bodies falling onto the ground and the faces of the rescuers, working against all odds to rescue anybody at all. These images and words spoken by the firemen, the policemen and other volunteers will stay with us forever.

And in the 15 years since that attack what has happened?  Horror mounts almost daily with reports of innocent people being killed or forced to flee their homes, people living in daily fear of what will happen next.  We hear of young girls being kidnapped by Boko Haraam, many of whom are still missing years later.  Journalists and Peace workers are being murdered and video reports of this are sent around the world.  Fear and belief that all Muslims are evil is escalating and we see evidence of this all around the world.  Where will it end?  And how can it be ended?  Not with more violence and hatred because we know that this only feeds itself.

Perhaps it’s naive to consider that we should or could give peace a chance as John and Yoko Lennon suggested in 1969. But how could this be achieved?  Are any of the “Powers that be” putting any thoughts in this direction, because somebody with some authority has to have the intestinal fortitude (read guts) to begin.  I fear that there is nobody brave enough or committed enough to be the first.

“Imagine there are no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”
From the song Imagine by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

So on this day each year, we will remember the folks who died on that tragic day and remember all those who are still suffering because of it.

May I share my rainbow with you in honour of those people?

Rainbow

My rainbow

 

 

.Note – First paragraph changed – see Erratum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back home with my family and friends

After a nasty accident that caused severe brain injury I spent seven weeks in hospital and at ABI rehabilitation.  Now thanks to the teams at both places I’m well on the way to recovery. Back home again and ready to post on my blog.

One of the most annoying aspects is that with brain injury driving licences are suspended for six months, until a doctor certifies you can drive. So currently I’m very dependent on family, friends and Driving Miss Daisy to take me around.

The entry to the exhibition

The entry to the exhibition

 

On Tuesday this week my No 3 grandson Drew took me to our National Museum, Te Papa (Our Place in Maori) to see the Gallipoli Exhibition  This tells the story of the landings on April 25. 1915

On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.

For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

IMG_0700

Larger than life sized models

Larger than life sized models

By the time the campaign ended, more than 130,000 men had died: at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including more than 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a sixth of all those who had landed on the peninsula.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves.

This exhibition tells the story from the standpoint of those young men.  It is incredibly detailed and we are shown where they stood their ground against an incredible army of Turks.  We see how they lived and we hear readings of letters home.

IMG_0699

Quins Post

 

A Nurse gets news of the death of a loved one

One of the standout officers was Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone (1859-1915) , a Stratford farmer and lawyer, who commanded the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli. The Wellington Battalion landed at Anzac Cove on 25-26 April 1915. Malone soon began to impose order, transforming weak defensive positions along the Anzac perimeter into strong garrisons. Between June and August, he helped consolidate critical positions at Courtney’s Post and Quin’s Post.  Just one of many no doubt.

And each year on April 25 Australians and New Zealanders commemorate this battle with a Public Holiday. ANZAC DAY

Anzac Poppy

ANZAC Poppy

Trusting Family

Recently I discovered Five Sentence Fiction  and decided to try my hand at writing a story in only five sentences.
This week’s word is FAMILY.

The soldiers burst into the school, yelling, shouting orders and firing rifles.  The children, scared, huddled together under their desks trying to hide from the angry men.  But they were soon discovered and brought out of hiding with the girls being separated from the boys who were locked into the school hall with the staff.

Then the terrified girls were herded onto buses and quickly driven away from the school.

Only then, when the firing had ceased and the yelling had stopped and it was possible to think, did the petrified child think of her family and knew they would find her and take her home again.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

Click on the badge to see what others have written.

A Special Six Word Saturday

Six word Saturday buttonHow quickly the weeks pass and it’s already Saturday again and time for Six Word Saturday.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

ANZAC DAY – WE WILL NOT FORGET

Anzac Day

This is a solemn Saturday for those of us in New Zealand and Australia.  Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles. Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians. To this day, Australia also marks the events of 25 April. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a fifth of those who served on Gallipoli.

At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders.

I wrote extensively about this day on April 25 2011, April 25 2012 and again on April 25 2013.  Click on the dates to read the posts.

 They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
From  For The Fallen
Lawrence Binyon, English poet, dramatist and art scholar. 1869 – 1943

The time has come

The walrus and the carpenter

via wikispaces

“The time has come” the Walrus said, “to talk of may things;
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings”
Lewis Carroll – From “Through the looking glass”.

Well the time has most certainly come for me to stop mooning around and get back to the discipline of writing my blog.  So what to write about?  How many times have I asked myself that question over the months and years that I have been writing my blog.
There is a big hole of course, where Lotte used to be and the hole I guess will always be there.  But it’s time to move on.  And now Miss Bella is making her presence felt and helping to close the hole.
I had one of my grandsons staying with me last week and what a joy that is.  He it was who arrived with his young brother the day after Lotte died complete with flowers and chocolates for Granma; they made my bed and kept me supplied with cups of coffee throughout the day.  He was  staying  here last week while his younger brother and their mother were at a rowing competition – the Maadi Cup, the premier rowing competition for schools in New Zealand.  The team did very well reaching the semi finals.
One of the things I really love about having time with my grandsons is the scope of topics we discuss.  Dinner on night was enlivened with talk of the war – that is World War 2 and what it was like to actually live during a war.  It then moved on to Vietnam, the Cuban crisis and the war in Iraq.  How knowledgeable these grandsons are.  We discussed what had caused the two World Wars – how well read this boy is – the futility of war, how really there are no winners, each side loses and what a waste of life all wars cause.
We then went on to discuss the favourite subject of all boys – technology and how far we have come and how much things have changed not only in my life time but also in his.  I just love talking with and listening to these lively young minds at work.  And I conclude that the world can be a better place if the leaders of the future are drawn from the likes of these young men.
And yesterday I picked up my eldest grandson from University.  He has just started and is doing a Network Engineering course.  We had a lovely hour driving in the car together while he told me about his course and his observations on the difference between school life and University life.   He has decided that one night a week he will come to stay.  It takes him about 1.15 hours to get to University and if he has a late session followed by an early morning one he thinks it makes sense for him to stay here.  And I must say I wholeheartedly encourage this.
And now it is almost Good Friday.  Once again we will have the shopping debacle/fiasco of which retailers may open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday and which must remain closed.    Every year there is a number of retailers who are fined for ignoring the trading hours rules.  But as we are definitely moving away from a totally Christian nation into one of many faiths, questions are being raised about the rules governing these holidays.  No doubt the controversy will rage for many more years.
happy_easter_bunny-13452
So I wish you all a Happy Easter whether you celebrate in the traditional Christian way,  or in your own faith or however else you choose.  May it be all that you wish for.
Bella Day 1-1
I shall spend it getting to know more of my new friend.

Another View of Christmas

“An eye for an eye
will make us all blind.”
Mahatma Gandhi

After all the cheerful Christmas posts I have been writing and reading, I remembered this video – Happy Christmas (War is Over) from John Lennon.

Lennon was murdered on 8 December 1980 and so it is obviously many years since he sang this song but  what has changed?  War is still being raged around the world; people are dying; children are being maimed; people are starving; people are being punished for their beliefs; bombs are still being manufactured by countries who deny this; prisoners are being inhumanely treated….  Will we ever learn?

And compare that video with the words of Imagine

YES JUST IMAGINE
Wouldn’t that make for a Very Happy Christmas

All We Are Saying Is

all we are saying is give peace a chance,
all we are saying is give peace a chance,

John and Yoko Ono

At the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal

Are you old enough to remember the bed-ins staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono to promote peace.  Their first non violent opposition to the Vietnam war was by way of a bed-in in Amsterdam.  This was followed by a second in Montreal where they invited the press into their room from 9am to 9pm every day for seven days.  This of course made headlines around the world and the media flocked to film and interview them.  See the YouTube video here.

We lived in Montreal in 1969 I clearly remember seeing the News coverage of the body bags and the maimed and hurt young men coming back from this war.  And what has changed in 42 years?

Obviously, the peaceful opposition to the war as staged by these two didn’t make any difference.    Many others staged more violent protests and we know that a whole heap of young men removed themselves to Canada to evade conscription.  What a very evil and bad time that was for our friends in the United States.  And that war as we all know dragged on for a further 6 years until the fall of Saigon in 1975.  This war raged in excess of 19 years and cost tens of thousands of  lives and ruined the lives of hundreds of thousand wounded in the war.  See Vietnam War Casualties via Wikipedia.

So what have we learned in the 42 years since the bed-ins or the 36 years since the ending of that war.  I think the answer must be very little or maybe even nothing.  We still wage war in many corners of the world.  Humans still seem to think that all conflict can be settled by brute force, but those of us who have no part in the decision making that ends in war, know this is not true.

On this eve of 9/11 let us once again ‘Give Peace a Chance”.  Or do you think I am being simplistic to imagine this could ever happen?

“Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try
No people below us, above it’s only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today
Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger a brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing for the world
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
Take my hand and join us
And the world will live, will live as one”

© LENONO MUSIC;