Thursday, April 23, 2009
ANZAC Day: Poppy Day.
Tomorrow, 25 April is Anzac Day .
It commemorates all New Zealanders and Australians 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 poppy's significance to Remembrance Day is a result of Canadian military physician John McCrae's poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy emblem was chosen because of the poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their red colour an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of trench warfare
Every year, the Vets and their families sell these poppy flowers. When I was in primary school in Borneo, we used to buy them. My teacher told me that the money was ex-Services and dependants. Later, when Sarawak became part of Malaysia, they stopped selling poppies. feathers were sold instead.
In my ESOL adult class, I teach ANZAC day to the new immigrants. I was glad to have L and E who lived through the war to assist me. "Lest we forget" doesn't mean as much as those who lived thhrough those horrible days.