On the 25th of April I attended the 2016 ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Singapore at the Kranji War Memorial. Always a somber day for me, but I do enjoy the Dawn Service here in Singapore, it is always well organised and conducted with respect and well attended, there were over 1000 in attendance this year which pretty good considering it is a work day here.
Thanks to the kids from the Australian International School Choir, they sang well. The two young buglers / trumpeters did a good job, the Last Post and Reveille are not the easiest pieces to play, and playing in the humidity of Singapore makes them both a lot harder. What never ceases to amaze me is how the bagpipes never seem to be affected by the weather!
One unique aspect of the ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Singapore is the ANZA (Australia and New Zealand Association) cyclists holding a ride prior to and then attending the service.
For those of you are not familiar with ANZAC Day, it is the Day that Australians and New Zealanders remember our fallen Service Men and Women, honour our Veterans and Serving Military Personnel, it is the equivalent of USA’s Memorial Day and Armistice Day in Europe.
Atatürk’s Tribute to the Fallen
In 1934 Kemal Atatürk apparently delivered the following words to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields, there are a few people who refute this, whatever is the truth they are stirring words. They have been inscribed in Turkey on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach), in Australia on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra and in New Zealand on Wellington’s Atatürk Memorial.
“Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives.
You are now lying 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 far away 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.
The Ode comes from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen” and its reading is one of the ANZAC Day Traditions and is usually read by the most senior Enlisted Service Person present.
“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.”