long tan – 16 august 1966 – words of remembrance
– words from other wars.
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives. You are now living in the soil of a friendly country therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.
Engraved forever at ANZAC Cove are these words from Kemal Ataturk, the Commander of the Turkish 19th Division during the Gallipoli Campaign and the first President of the Turkish Republic from 1924-1938:
At the going down of the sun…
I crouched in a shallow trench on that hell of exposed beaches… steeply rising foothills bare of cover… a landscape pockmarked with war’s inevitable litter… piles of stores… equipment… ammunition… and the weird contortions of death sculptured in Australian flesh… I saw the going down of the sun on that first ANZAC Day… the chaotic maelstrom of Australia’s blooding.
I fought in the frozen mud of the Somme… in a blazing destroyer exploding on the North Sea… I fought on the perimeter at Tobruk… crashed in the flaming wreckage of a fighter in New Guinea… lived with the damned in the place cursed with the name Changi.
I was your mate… the kid across the street… the med. student at graduation… the mechanic in the corner garage… the baker who brought you bread… the gardener who cut your lawn… the clerk who sent your phone bill.
I was an Army private… a Naval commander… an Air Force bombardier. no man knows me… no name marks my tomb, for I am every Australian serviceman… I am the Unknown Soldier.
I died for a cause I held just in the service of my land… that you and yours may say in freedom… I am proud to be an Australian.
Nice work Pete. I had a neighbour once who was conscripted to Vietnam. In one of those over the fence conversations, I asked him what he did during his time there. “Everything” was his response. That was the last we spoke on the subject.
Have to respect the big red machine for signing over the gravediggers patch to the vietnam vets mc….more than nat ever or would do