April 25th, 2006

One Tree Hill

ANZAC Day.

I have explained the history of ANZAC Day before, so today, I wish to simply honour those who did not return. All told, New Zealand suffered the most deaths per capita of any country in World War I (despite the fact conflict never touched our soil), and the Australian military suffered the highest rate of casualties of any military involved in the war. Out of New Zealand's entire population at the time of the war, a staggering 10% served overseas.

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.

- For The Fallen, Laurence Binyon

That single verse emotionally affects me more than every other item of poetry I have ever read combined, and I cannot sufficiently articulate why.

Lest we forget.

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Aotearoa

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.