madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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Might not seem strange to hear I watched a commercial on the Tube yesterday; might not seem so even if I mention we've been watching things a lot more recorded, recently. So zip and zoom through the commercials when they come up, maybe only stopping if one particularly catches our attention.

Isn't the case, this time.

Couldn't even tell you what we were watching now; something to occupy some time, really, winding down after working on the Ranch most of the day. Getting a bit red on the arms and neck, catching up but never surpassing all the things which need doing when one owns their own home, their own ranch. Winding it down. Thinking about something in particular, not even related to all that work.

The commercial was for Outback Restaurants. And I just stopped my mental processing at that, thinking how very, very Yank a perception of Australia is that particular restaurant franchise. How... stereotypical.

You see... or maybe you don't. The Aussies & Kiwis who wander through here, y'all will see. Not so sure about the Yanks, though maybe. Probably the Canucks will. Beyond that... I'm not so sure.

On 25 April 1915 the Battle of Gallipoli began.

Now, I admit I'm an amateur historian, and particularly military historian. So I knew the word, and the battle this referred to which not everyone in my high school world history classes did. And I still didn't know the real impact of this. Between those years in high school in the late '60's until 2001 I did not know the real impact. Then on holiday in New Zealand and a driving tour of South Island, and it took me not long at all to notice something because the first of these I saw was in what may be NZ's largest city, Christchurch.

In every community. Places which can claim a population of maybe 50, or 50,000. Every. Community. There is a monument to the Fallen of the Great War.

So I started re-reading about the Great War. Now, coupled with this is one of the monuments in my national capitol which I'd discovered along the Mall. It's a small monument, rarely featured. A rotunda type gazebo in the Grecian manner. Dedicated to the fallen from the District of Columbia who fought in the Great War.

For a lot of reasons, it is actually one of my favourites there.

Anyway, I started reading more about this, and occasionally managed to chat up with my Aussie or Kiwi friends. And I started catching the clue bus for how big a deal this is. And why it is.

Gallipoli, you see, is not one of the Allies shining moments out of the Great War. A brilliant concept you know. Gain control of a big and really important body of water and eliminate one of the major enemy groups that way. Except... well, it didn't happen that way.

There's more. A lot more. Out of that entire conflict and stipulating that Gallipoli provided a huge portion of this, quite nearly three-quarters of the male population from those two countries just -- didn't come home.

I may in one sense belittle the importance of this day to those people when I say it is right up there with Armistice Day/Remembrance Day/Veterans Day. Really.

It's that important. Way away there, Down Under, pretty much a world away from EveryWhere Else, and nobody else will. Nobody here does. Well, not many. Few Yanks do. Instead, something like that commercial for Outback Restaurants and Bloomin' Onions and shrimp on the barbie or maybe Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth is what folk with come back with if asked, What About Australia and New Zealand?


Just, no.

It isn't much. No music, no lone bugler playing 'Last Post'. Was just Houdini & I, starting our Saturday looking east over the pasture through morning mist. Because we Yanks are not the only people, we've never been the only people who've 'given that last full measure of devotion.'

Lest we forget.
Tags: history, remember
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