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Today is ANZAC Day here in New Zealand and Australia and it commemorates all New Zealanders and Australians killed in war and also honors returned servicemen and women.
The date marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the ANZACS – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.
Thousands of men lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders - almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli, 8500 Australians, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire and 87,000 Turks.
ANZAC is the acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
The red poppy has become a symbol of war remembrance the world over. People in many countries wear the poppy to remember those who died in war or who still serve. In many countries, the poppy is worn around Armistice Day (11 November), but in New Zealand it is most commonly seen around Anzac Day, 25 April.
In the early hours of this morning all around New Zealand there were dawn services and again there were services mid morning. There are always big turnouts with the younger generation now taking the places of the soldiers who fought and have now passed on, in the parade.
For the Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
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.
They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.