Friday, April 22, 2011

The Anzac Day ceremony...

The Anzac Day ceremony of 25 April is rich in tradition and ritual. It is a form of military funeral and follows a particular pattern. The day's ceremonies have two major parts: one at dawn and another, more public event, later in the morning.

The dawn service

Sound: Anzac Day dawn service

A typical commemoration begins with a march by returned service personnel before dawn to the local war memorial. Military personnel and returned servicemen and women form up about the memorial, joined by other members of the community. Pride of place goes to war veterans.

A short service follows with a prayer, hymns (including Kipling's 'Recessional' or 'Lest we forget') and a dedication that concludes with the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen:

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.

The last post is then played, and this is followed by a minute's silence and the reveille. A brief address follows, after which the hymn 'Recessional' is sung. The service concludes with a prayer and the singing of the national anthem.

The Anzac parade

Another ceremony takes place later on the morning of 25 April. Returned service personnel wear their medals and march behind banners and standards. The veterans are joined by other community groups, including members of the armed forces, the Red Cross, cadets, and veterans of other countries' forces.

Patea war memorial on Anzac Day

The march proceeds to the local war memorial. Another service takes place there, and various organisations and members of the public lay wreaths. This service is a more public commemoration than the dawn service. It is less intimate and less emotional. The speech, usually by a dignitary, serviceman or returned serviceman or woman, can stress nationhood and remembrance.

After these services many of the veterans retire to the local Returned and Services' Association (RSA) club or hotel, where they enjoy coffee and rum (in the case of the dawn service) and unwind after an emotionally and, for elderly veterans, physically exhausting event. At the end of the day, the ceremony of the retreat is performed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Anzac Day occurs on April 25 every year. It actually commemorates all New Zealanders and Australians killed in war and honours returned servicemen and women...

Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders and Australians killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

Anzac art 1916

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, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders.

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 2721 New Zealanders, almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli.

It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.

Anzac Day was first marked in 1916. The day has gone through many changes since then. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, remain rich in tradition and ritual befitting a military funeral.

Today in history - 2007 - Police raid suspected terrorists around NZ...

A man bailed after being arrested as part of nationwide police raids on suspected weapons training camps yesterday is tonight back in custody.

View video: Activist appears in court

Anti-terrorism law's impact on human rights questioned ... Napalm found in swoop ... Guerrillas in the mist ... Tame Iti's many roles

Jamie Beattie Lockett, 46, of Takanini in Auckland was bailed by Auckland District Court Judge Josephine Bouchier this morning after appearing on firearms charges.

That decision was overturned last night in a late sitting at the High Court in Auckland following an appeal from the Crown.

Justice Helen Winkelmann said Judge Bouchier had failed to take into account that further "more serious" charges could be against Lockett under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Police had produced a photograph "retrieved" from a security camera yesterday morning showing men wearing camouflage clothes and balaclavas training at a "para military-style" training camp in the Urerewas.

While only two of the group had so far been identified, police alleged Lockett attended the same camp about the same time.

Lockett was remanded in custody until Friday.

Lockett, who represented himself and had waived his right to interim name suppression, was one of five people who appeared in Auckland District Court yesterday after the police raids.

The Crown opposed his bail application at the hearing this morning.

Monday, April 18, 2011