Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
I began writing this week’s Journey, early on ANZAC morning. There is a strange but comforting stillness in the air, which contributed to a respectful silence. Even the birds were silent, perhaps engaged in their own act of remembrance. It was an opportunity for me to reflect, remember and read some of the war poetry of Wilfred Owen (Poet and Officer who was killed November 4th 1918 while leading his men across the Sambre – Oise Canal in Northern France.)
Later on ANZAC day, I attended the Commemoration Service at the War Memorial Hall, Northcote. I, like others was surprised by the large number of people who took time to gather together and remember, including a large percentage of young people and children. Like other ANZAC Services there is that poignant moment as the Last Post is played, the reciting of “Binyons Ode” and then Reveille. Who can tell what is taking place within the human heart and mind of each person who attended that gathering.
In recent years ANZAC Day is increasing in importance within our Nation’s psyche. There appears to be an ever growing sense of national pride, community and belonging. I am sure one day social research will be undertaken to actually quantify and qualify this renewed interest in ANZAC day. Whatever the reasons, we will continue to remember them……
I leave you with this poem from Wilfred Owen : At a Calvary Near The Ancre
(Note: A “Calvary” is a statue of the crucified Christ; these crucifixes are erected at many crossroads in France. Ancre is a river of the Picardy province in France. Owen served with the British Army at the Battle of Ancre November 13 – 18 1916 which was part of the Battle of the Somme. )
One ever hangs where shelled roads part.
In this war He too lost a limb,
But His disciples hide apart;
And now the Soldiers bear with Him.
Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ’s denied.
The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the state,
But they who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate.
– Wilfred Owen