On 25 April, Australia will commemorate the landing at Gallipoli almost a century ago. What was to be a swift battle turned out to be a drawn out campaign that the allied forces did not win. It also resulted to the loss of many Australian lives. On ANZAC Day, we remember not just those who died in the Gallipoli campaign, but all those who have fought and laid down their lives so that others may live in peace. The Australian nation will be forever grateful to these unsung heroes.
Lest we forget, here's a dozen things you can do in Sydney to keep the ANZAC spirit alive:
2. Volunteer. Legacy in Sydney needs help in caring for the families of incapacitated and deceased veterans. Volunteers are needed to collect donations, sprig rosemary for ANZAC Day, assist with general office duties, or provide pro bono expertise in different areas. Click here for details on how to volunteer at Legacy. You can also help out at the RSL[/B]. Pledge a little of your time to help make the lives of our veterans and their dependants better through the welfare and community support activities of the Retired Services Leagure (RSL). Click here for details on how to volunteer at your local RSL branch. Alternatively, you may want to get involved in helping our veterans in their homes or in residential care facilities by providing social interaction, transport for social activities, medical and other appointments, or administrative support to local RSL Care offices in Sydney and NSW. Click here for more information on volunteering to RSL Care.
3. Give the troops a morale boost. Send a thank you note to our troops, particularly those deployed in conflicts overseas. Send an email to the troops at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a postcard to:
Messages to the Troops Media Section
39 Personnel Support Battalion Building 217
Randwick Barracks NSW 2031
Scene from a captured Turkish trench overlooking the Anzac Cove beach showing Australian troops going into action across Plugge's Plateau after the landing on 25 April 1915 at about midday. Public domain photo by CEW Bean.
5. Live the tradition. Bake ANZAC biscuits and share them with family and friends. Keep the ANZAC spirit alive in your local community. Click here for the secret recipe from a WeekendNotes writer who has been so good to share it with us. You can also plant poppies and share the tradition with family and children so we do not forget. A powerful symbolism was attached to the poppies during the First World War. Red poppies were among the first plants to bloom in the battlefields of France and Belgium, and soldiers take this to remind them of the blood of their fallen comrades that soaked the fields. Through the years, poppies have become part of the symbols of ANZAC. Read more by clicking here.
Members of 13th Battalion, AIF, occupying Quinn's Post on the heights above Anzac Cove. Public domain photo by CEW Bean.
6. Watch the ANZAC Day match. It is a fitting tribute that sports heroes play their best on the day we commemorate the real heroes of the nation. This ANZAC Day 2014, the Dragons play against the Roosters at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Gates open at 1:00pm and games begin at 4:00pm. Click here for more details. If you'd prefer to stay home, watch Gallipoli with family or friends. It an Australian classic of all time. It is a 1981 film which tells of the story two Australian sprinters who had to face the brutal realities of war when they were sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during the First World War. Starring the Aussie Hollywood star Mel Gibson. Click here for details about the movie.
However you decide to celebrate ANZAC Day, take a moment to recite the Ode. The Ode is the fourth stanza of the poem For the Fallen by English poet and writer Laurence Binyon. No matter how and where you commemorate ANZAC, a quiet reflection on the sacrifices of the men and women in service, coupled with a recitation of the Ode, will make your ANZAC Day a meaningful one. Click here to learn about the tradition if you are not quite familiar with it, or click here to read the poem.