ANZAC Day and an emotional princess

Today is April 25th here in New Zealand, a public holiday to honour ANZAC Day. It is a day of remembrance, it marks the day that ANZAC troops landed at Gallipoli, but it has come to honour so much more.
It’s always an emotional day for me. Majority of my years I have been to ANZAC services in Auckland, Hamilton and Tokoroa. I have marched as a Girl Guide, I have marched as an ATC cadet, I’ve stood on cenotaph duty and laid poppies and wreaths. I’ve also nearly passed out on parade and caught another cadet who did. I’ve walked the donkeys to honour the story of Simpson and his donkey and the concept that no man gets left behind. I’ve shed a lot of tears over the years. But it took me being old enough to understand what it is to have those you love serving to have the emotional reaction and understanding I do now. My sister is a nurse in the army and currently in New Caledonia with a group of Veterans, a much safer activity than the deployments I know she could have.

A few years ago to commemorate the day I wrote a piece that will feature in one of the Children of the Immortal books, so I thought I’d share it today. Some of you might recognise the story from a previous piece shared…


Charlie and Els sat together watching the parade on the television, soldiers past and present marching together to honour the service and sacrifice of those gone, those still serving and those yet to. Charlie put his arm around Els and tucked her in against his side. He’d lived through many of the wars they talked of, and died in one as strange as that sounded. He had lost friends and those he considered family in the Great wars. But he knew Els was going further back than he was, she had seen more battles than she had ever wished and lost too many people to war. He didn’t like it when she was this quiet, sitting with tears falling down her cheeks. He didn’t know what to say, he’d always been at a loss to help Els at the best of times, but he was always there for her and always loved her. The coverage came to an end and Elspeth sang, as she did every time she remembered the fallen and those lost in battle.
“If I should fall
Carry me home
Carry me on
Carry me still in your heart
I do not die
I just move on
My time here
My time gone
Until I come again
Carry me on
Carry me home
Carry my name on your lips
My deeds in your mind
My love in your heart
I do not go
I do not die
I live here within you still
Carry me on
Carry me high on my shield
Carry me home
Live for me
Love me still
Carry me on
Carry me home
Carry me always
Carry me in your heart
Carry me…”

Charlie tilted her head up and softly wiped her cheeks with a clean hanky. “Come on love, let’s go find the others and cheer you up.”


5 thoughts on “ANZAC Day and an emotional princess

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