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Today is ANZAC Day

This is a major holiday for Australia and New Zealand. I tend to observe it as well, which may seem strange that a Yank observes a major holiday for countries not his own, and yet, I've my reasons and I consider them exceeding good ones. They may not be of the same origins as my Aussie and Kiwi acquaintances and friends are, and yet they are related.

Herself and I spent the month of September 2001 on South Island, New Zealand. I'd begun to learn, by walkabout in Chch and stopping in a few places on our driving tour just how seriously the Kiwis felt about events involving the Great War. As we continued the tour, I confirmed that every community, Every Single One, maintained a monument to those who went to that war, because most of them did not come home again.

We woke up in Dunedin on the morning of 12 September to the news from New York, where the date continued to be 9/11. Some of the Kiwis own were there in New York that day, again never to come home.

There are memories engraved in my soul from the rest of that trip. One is, as I mentioned, finding those Monuments in each and every community, no matter how small. More than the Kiwi Hospitality (and believe me, folks, Kiwis take their hospitality quite to heart), there are memories of driving past farm houses well past the wopwops out further than the back of beyond, that now flew US flags from their porch flagstaffs draped in black crepe. Business' displaying multiple nations flags with the US flag at half-staff despite what Mr. Bush said to do back home.

So on 25 April, at the dawning of the day and the setting of the sun, for my own reasons, I Remember Them.

This entry was originally posted at http://madshutterbug.dreamwidth.org/665414.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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