This April 25th marks 100 years of the ANZAC. Slowly more soldiers pass as time moves forward, and the history is passed down generation to generation. Family members will march in tribute. Dawn services all over Sydney, will be at capacity reportedly by 3am.
In today’s blog we examine some of the symbolism used for ANZAC Day and for remembrance as a whole, and how you can pay tribute to our diggers in a small way.
Perhaps you have family members that march on Anzac Day who will wear sprigs of rosemary. Maybe you will attend one of the many local dawn services taking place all over Sydney and lay a wreath at a War Memorial.
Whatever you do this Saturday, please take a moment to acknowledge those who have died at war, their sacrifice, and for those who have returned with scars that are both seen, and unseen.
Flower and Plant symbols of Remembrance:
Rosemary, can be found growing wild on the peninsula of Galipoli, and so it holds a special significance for Australians and New Zealanders alike. The aromatic herb is thought to improve memory, and perhaps because of this, Rosemary has become an emblem of fidelity and remembrance. Sprigs of rosemary are traditionally worn on Anzac Day and are often handed out by Legacy and the RSL.
The Poppy is traditionally worn on Remembrance Day (11 November) each year although they also have pride of place on traditional Anzac wreaths. The red poppy has several points of significance;
1. they were among the first flowers to bloom in the battlefields of Northern France and Belgium in the First World War;
2. In soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy is said to have come from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground;
3. Canadian Colonel John McCrae first described the Flanders’ poppy (Red Poppy), as the flower of remembrance after a young friend and former student was killed at war. McCrae composed a poem in pencil on a page of his despatch book that has come to be known as ‘Flanders’ Field’ which described the poppies that marked the graves of soldiers killed fighting for their country.
Laurel Wreaths are a traditional tribute piece for Anzac Day services. The Chaplets are traditionally woven with Laurel leaves, which was used as a symbol of honour as far back as the ancient Romans to crown victors and the brave. The wreath is also adorned with 3 red poppies which have become a symbol of Remembrance Day.
The Lest We Forget ribbon is correctly place high in the left corner, across the wreath, and finishing low in the right hand side to symbolise the sun rising in the East and setting in the west.
A Punt on Two up, beer with a digger, a dawn service, or a donation to the RSL- there are many ways to honour and remember our diggers this year and every year to come. Whatever you do, make it special, we are unlikely to see another centenary come within our lifetime, which makes is a once in a lifetime celebration. Get involved, and don’t let it pass you by.
How will you remember them?